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Feb 4, 2013

Xavi a doubt for Milan clash

Xavi Hernandez faces a race against time to be fit for Barcelona's forthcoming Champions League last 16 tie at AC Milan on February 20 after tearing a hamstring muscle during the 1-1 draw at Valencia on Sunday.

• Blog: Lead over Real back at 16

Xavi, 33, was substituted late in the match at the Mestalla before travelling to Madrid with his Spain international team-mates as they prepare to play Uruguay in a friendly in Qatar on Wednesday. He was later released by the Spanish FA [RFEF] after initial tests showed a problem.

Further examination in Barcelona on Monday confirmed the injury, and the Catalan club released a statement at lunchtime suggesting the playmaker faced at least a fortnight on the sidelines.

"After tests revealed a tear in his left hamstring, Xavi Hernandez will be out for the next 15 days and will miss Barca's next two games against Getafe and Granada," the statement said.

"If his recovery goes as planned, he will be back for the Champions League game against Milan, set for the 20th of this month."

Barca's busy schedule over the coming weeks also includes the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou on February 26, the Liga clasico at Madrid's Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 2 and the return Champions League clash against Milan in Barcelona on March 12.

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