Barcelona short at the back with Vermaelen ruled out for a month

Reuters , Monday 17 Dec 2018

Soccer Football - Champions League - Group Stage - Group B - FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - December 11, 2018 Tottenham's Harry Kane in action with Barcelona's Thomas Vermaelen (REUTERS)

Thomas Vermaelen will be out a month after tearing a calf muscle, Barcelona said Monday, leaving the Spanish champions with just two fit centre-backs.

The Belgian was substituted after sustaining the injury during Barca's 5-0 win at Levante on Sunday, which sent them three points clear at the top of La Liga.

"Tests carried out on the defender show that he has torn a muscle in his right calf and will be out for around four weeks," Barcelona said in a statement.

With Samuel Umtiti taking treatment on a knee cartilage problem in Qatar, it leaves Barcelona with only Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet able to play in the heart of their defence.

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