Barcelona‘s injury crisis has gone from bad to worse after the club confirmed that Hector Bellerin sustained a calf problem in training earlier this week.
La Blaugrana had remained relatively injury-free at the start of the 2022-23 season, but Xavi has seen numerous first-team players pick up issues during the international break.
The likes of Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Memphis Depay, Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembele were all casualties of the international period, although Bellerin was not called up to the Spain squad.
The ex-Arsenal man therefore remained in Catalonia for training with other Barcelona teammates who were not involved for their countries, but he has now joined the ever-growing treatment room.
A statement from Barcelona revealed that Bellerin had sustained a calf problem on Tuesday morning, and he would undergo examinations on Wednesday to determine the period of his layoff.
“Hector Bellerin has reported difficulties with the soleus in his left leg during Tuesday morning’s training session. On Wednesday, the defender will undergo a series of tests to determine the full extent of the trouble,” the statement read.
The right-back returned to Camp Nou after an 11-year spell with Arsenal earlier this summer, and he has made two appearances for La Blaugrana against Cadiz and Elche in La Liga.
Bellerin has been competing with the likes of Araujo, Kounde and Sergi Roberto for the right-back role at Camp Nou, and Xavi has supposedly been left impressed with his showings so far.
The 27-year-old is only under contract at Camp Nou until the end of the season, but he is thought to be in line for an extension in January to avoid the prospect of a free transfer in 2023.
While the severity of Bellerin’s issue is currently unclear, Barcelona boss Xavi could be working with limited right-back options for his side’s upcoming fixtures with Mallorca and Inter Milan.
Barcelona have already confirmed that Araujo will need surgery on the thigh injury he sustained with Uruguay and could be out for several weeks, while Kounde picked up a knock while on duty with France.
The injury-plagued Roberto has also missed La Blaugrana’s last two La Liga matches due to an adductor injury, and the weekend’s clash with Mallorca is expected to come too soon for him as well.
Meanwhile, France manager Didier Deschamps revealed that Dembele was nursing a calf injury before his side’s Nations League clash with Denmark, but the 25-year-old was able to make the bench in that 2-0 defeat.
Dutch duo De Jong and Depay were also forced to leave the Netherlands camp after picking up problems, and Barcelona have since revealed that both men are nursing hamstring injuries.
Barcelona could briefly leapfrog Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table with victory over Mallorca on Saturday, but Los Blancos will have the chance to respond against Osasuna 24 hours later.