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Puyol may be fit to face Malaga

Barcelona say that the injury picked up by Carles Puyol at Levante on Wednesday night is not too serious, and the veteran centre-half could even be available for selection this coming weekend.

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Puyol, 35, picked up the problem early in the second half of Barca’s 4-1 Copa del Rey quarterfinal first-leg victory and was immediately replaced by Javier Mascherano, with fears raised that he may have suffered another injury to the knee that has been such an issue for him over the last 18 months.

However, immediate reports from the ground suggested the problem was not so serious, and a club statement released Thursday morning said Puyol had only taken a knock to his left leg and would soon be back in action.

“Carles Puyol had to come off the pitch early against Levante because of a bruise,” the statement said. “Medical tests carried out this morning on the player have confirmed that he has suffered a bruise to his left leg. Puyol’s recovery will determine his availability for Tata Martino’s team’s next game, which is against Malaga at the Camp Nou this Sunday.”

The Barca club captain, who still harbours hopes of going to this summer’s World Cup with Spain, did not have his best night at the Ciutat de Valencia. His misdirected header led directly to Levante taking the lead, while the injury was picked up as he made a last-ditch tackle, having been again caught out of position during an attack.

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