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Alves out for three weeks

Barcelona full-back Daniel Alves is expected to be out of action for three weeks after picking up a thigh injury in Sunday's night's 2-2 Clasico draw with Real Madrid at the Camp Nou.

Alves limped out of the action on 27 minutes, to be replaced by youngster Martin Montoya, and Barca confirmed via a statement on its website Sunday night that the injury would definitely rule him out of Brazil's two next friendlies and that he is doubtful for the club's next three games at least.

"Dani Alves will be out for three weeks," the statement said. "The Brazilian has suffered a grade one muscular injury in his left thigh during the Barca-Madrid game on Sunday."

Alves had been called up by Brazil coach Mano Menezes for the friendlies against Iraq, on October 11, and Japan, on October 16, but will now miss both games. He also looks likely to be out for Barca's La Liga trips to Deportivo la Coruna and Rayo Vallecano, and their home Champions League clash with Celtic.

Montoya, 21, went on to contribute impressively in both defence and attack against Real - helping marshal Cristiano Ronaldo and hitting the crossbar with a 25-yard piledriver in the 88th minute. Barca coach Tito Vilanova praised the graduate of the club's La Masia youth academy after the game.

"It is not easy to come in without having warmed up and take on Cristiano, but he did it very well," Vilanova said. "He has shown that those coming up through the ranks fit in incredibly well."

Vilanova also lamented the fact that the Brazilian's injury means Barca had finished El Clasico without all of what was until recently their first-choice back four: Alves, Carles Puyol (dislocated elbow), Gerard Pique (sprained ankle) and Eric Abidal (liver transplant).

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