Barcelona have confirmed Ousmane Dembele sustained a hamstring injury in their defeat to Celta Vigo on Saturday, with the Frenchman unlikely to recover in time to face Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Dembele was taken off in the sixth minute against Celta as a much-changed Barca side were beaten 2-0 in the La Liga.
“The tests performed this Sunday have confirmed that the French player of the first team has a muscular injury in the femoral biceps of the right thigh,” Barca said in a statement on Sunday. “The player is out and his recovery will decide his availability.”
Ernesto Valverde rested all 11 players that started in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Liverpool in the first leg of the semi-final last week, but the injury to Dembele is a blow.
The Frenchman would have been in contention to start at Anfield, perhaps instead of Philippe Coutinho, who was whistled during the first leg at Camp Nou when substituted in the second half.
Valverde will hope to have Dembele back for the Copa del Rey final against Valencia on May 25 in Seville, as well as a potential Champions League final on June 1 in Madrid.
Dembele missed almost four months with a hamstring strain last season and suffered from problems in the same area in January and March, sitting out for another month each time.
“We think it’s a muscle tear,” said Valverde after the match on Saturday. “It is not from fatigue - he didn’t play much against Liverpool - and it is not the same leg as last time. It’s just one of those things.”