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Barcelona lose Puyol to groin injury

Barcelona will be deprived of Carles Puyol for up to three games after their captain sustained a groin injury when representing Catalonia.

Puyol appeared for the regional side in a 4-0 friendly defeat of Honduras but his participation came at a cost with the defender picking up an injury.

Barcelona report Puyol has suffered "a strain that will see him sidelined for over a week", meaning he could be absent for two Primera Liga ties and one Copa del Rey fixture.

Levante visit Camp Nou in the league on January 2, while Barca travel to Deportivo La Coruna a week later. The club also face Athletic Bilbao in cup competition on January 5.

Barca have welcomed back defender Gabriel Milito and youngster Jeffren, who have both recovered from thigh injuries. Milito has been absent since the Copa del Rey tie against Ceuta on November 10 while winger Jeffren has been sidelined since the Champions League meeting with Rubin Kazan on December 7.

Meanwhile, new signing Ibrahim Afellay trained with Barcelona for the first time on Wednesday following his move from PSV Eindhoven.

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