Barcelona midfielder Rafinha Alcantara will miss between three and four weeks with a knee injury, according to reports in Spain, a crucial period that includes the Champions League quarter-finals and the Clasico.
He was substituted after 16 minutes against Granada during the Catalans’ 4-1 win on Sunday night in Andalusia, with tests revealing he has a small meniscus injury in his right knee.
This means the Brazilian is set to miss both legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Juventus as well as the Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu against Real Madrid.
Barcelona released a statement saying they will examine him over the next 48 hours to see how the injury develops before deciding which steps to take to help his recovery.
Rafinha’s injury could have a big impact at Camp Nou because Luis Enrique uses him as the right-winger in his 3-4-3 formation.
With Aleix Vidal, who would also be suitable for the role, also injured, the coach may revert to the 4-3-3 set-up he has utilised for most of his three-year tenure at the club.
Spanish newspaper Diario Sport says Rafinha is aiming to return for the Catalan derby clash with Espanyol on the final weekend of April.
Rafinha has suffered five injuries this season, with bruised ribs, an Achilles tendon problem, a fractured nose and a thigh problem the other setbacks, although he has still played 28 games and netted seven goals.
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