Barcelona are facing a defensive injury crisis, with Thomas Vermaelen having been ruled out for up to six weeks with a thigh complaint.
The 32-year-old has endured a series of fitness issues throughout his time at Camp Nou, and is now facing up to another spell on the sidelines.
He was forced off during a recent outing for Belgium against Switzerland and was removed from Roberto Martinez’s squad as a result of that knock.
Subsequent scans have confirmed that the former Arsenal man is set to be kept out of action until December.
A statement released by Barcelona on their official website read: “The tests carried out on Monday confirmed that first team player Thomas Vermaelen has an injury to the femoral biceps of his right leg. Approximate down time is six weeks.”
Vermaelen will now play no part in Belgium’s upcoming friendly clash with the Netherlands on Tuesday.
He will also be unavailable to Barcelona for the foreseeable future, leaving them alarmingly short on centre-half options.
World Cup winner Samuel Umtiti has already been ruled out for the long-term with a knee problem .
He has been missing since September 26 and no timescale has been put on his recovery, with those at Camp Nou waiting to discover how he responds to treatment before pencilling in a return.
With Vermaelen now in a similar position, Ernesto Valverde has just two fit options available to him at the heart of his back four.