Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba faces a further six weeks on the sidelines after suffering another hamstring injury in training.
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However, there is more positive news on Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol, who have stepped up their recoveries.
Alba was nearing a recovery from an injury to his right hamstring and was expected to return in the coming weeks, but he is now out until late November after picking up a problem in his other leg during Thursday’s session at the Camp Nou.
The news was confirmed in a club statement released by Barca shortly afterwards.
“Jordi Alba suffered a muscle injury in the back of his left thigh in training this morning which, according to the club doctors, will keep him out of action for approximately six weeks,” the statement read. “The injury comes as a further blow to the Catalan full-back, who has been working his way back to fitness following a similar injury he picked up a month ago in his other leg.”
There was better news on Mascherano, who took part in Thursday’s 4-1 friendly win against local third-tier side Sant Andreu at Barca’s Ciutat Esportiva. A statement on the Argentine’s condition was subsequently released by the club.
“Javier Mascherano worked with the rest of the squad this morning for the first time since he picked up a thigh injury against Real Sociedad on September 24, taking part in this morning’s practice match against Sant Andreu,” it read. “The Barca team for the practice match included a number of Barca B players, with the injured Alba, [Isaac] Cuenca and Messi not involved.”
Blaugrana captain Puyol -- who has not played this season as he comes back from a serious knee problem -- featured for 45 minutes in that game, but the club remain cautious on the 35-year-old's condition.
“Puyol, who has still not been given the medical all-clear, also took part in the training match,” Barca’s statement read.
Lionel Messi, meanwhile, remains a doubt for Barca’s next match at Osasuna on Oct. 19.