Muscle injury sidelines Barca stopper Bartra for three weeks

2012-11-19 00:53:27 GMT2012-11-19 08:53:27(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MADRID, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona confirmed this Sunday that central defender Marc Bartra will be out of action for around three weeks after straining a muscle on the right side of his groin.

Bartra's loss is added to that of Adrian Coreira, who is also sidelined with a muscle injury and means that the club's problems in defense continue.

The former B-team player has burst into the first team scene with a series of assured performances over the past month in which he has provided much needed cover for the injuries suffered by Spain internationals Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol.

Pique returned to action eight days ago as Barcelona won in Mallorca, while Puyol made his return to action in the 3-1 home win against Zaragoza on Saturday night.

Bartra's injury happened during the club's Sunday morning training session before coach Tito Vilanova named his squad for this week's Champions League tie way to Spartak Moscow in which Barca need just a point to ensure their progress into the second round.

His absence once again leaves Vilanova short of substitutes in defense for the next three weeks and the Barca coach will keep his fingers crossed that neither Pique nor Puyol suffer any relapses in their forthcoming matches.

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