Madrid: FC Barcelona's 1-3 defeat to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium Saturday night continues to exact a heavy toll on the Catalan club with news filtering in Monday that midfielder Andres Iniesta will be out of action for three to four weeks.
The Spain international limped out of the game in the 27th minute of the second half holding his calf and tests have confirmed a muscle injury, reports Xinhua.
The injury means he will miss Barca's next two games in the Spanish Primera Liga, which are at home to Celta Vigo and away to Almeria, as well as the Champions League tie away to Ajax Amsterdam.
Iniesta will also have to sit out the next two Spain international matches -- a European Championship qualifying game against Belarus and a friendly match against reigning World Champions, Germany -- although Barca hope to have him fit for the league game against second placed Sevilla which will be played Nov 22..
"I am starting my recovery period and I hope to be back with the team as soon as possible," said Iniesta.
His absence will in some ways make the job of Barca coach, Luis Enrique easier as it opens a space in the starting 11 for Luis Suarez, who made his debut Saturday at the expense of midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
Rakitic's presence was probably missed in the Bernabeu and the Barca coach will now have to find a way to fit the former Sevilla midfielder into the side along with Xavi Hernandez and Sergio Busquets.