Barcelona suffer injury blow to midfielder Arthur Melo

2019-02-09 08:23:39 GMT2019-02-09 16:23:39(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

MADRID, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona will be without Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo for between three and four weeks after he tore his left hamstring in the semifinal of the Copa del Rey against Real Madrid, the club confirmed on Friday.

The injury comes at the worst possible time for Barcelona, who have a vital month ahead of them in which they will play the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie away to Olympique de Lyon, as well as visiting Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu twice in four days for the return leg of their cup semifinal and a potentially decisive clash in the Liga Santander.

Arthur will also miss Barca's league game away to Athletic Club Bilbao on Sunday, a home game against Valladolid and the difficult trip to face Sevilla in the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

The Spanish press report that Barca coach Ernesto Valverde annoyed at the 22-year-old, who has become an important part of his plans with 16 league appearances so far this campaign, because Arthur suffered his injury just 48 hours after attending Neymar Jr's 27th birthday party in Paris on Monday night when he would have almost certainly been much better off resting to prepare for a busy schedule.

Valverde has other options in midfield such as Arturo Vidal and Carles Alena, but losing Arthur reduces his options at the moment he most needs them. Enditem

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