Iniesta adds to Barca injury crisis

Andres iniesta

Barcelona’s injury problems continue to mount as captain Andres Iniesta hobbled off during their come-from-behind win against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday with a hamstring injury.

Iniesta was replaced after an hour by Jordi Alba with Barca trailing 1-0, but goals in the final 10 minutes by Sergi Roberto and Luis Suarez handed the Catalans a 2-1 win.

The European champions are already without four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi for the next two months.

Barcelona refused to state how long Iniesta would be sidelined for, but Catalan sports daily Sport reported the 31-year-old will be out for a month.

That would see Iniesta miss Saturday’s visit to Sevilla and home games against Rayo Vallecano and Eibar, as well as Spain’s final two Euro 2016 qualifiers against Luxembourg and Ukraine.

“The information regarding Iniesta is sad, firstly for the player himself and also because (the injuries) now seem like a joke,” said Barca boss Luis Enrique.

“It is a handicap and we will show that we are competitive. I am very happy with how the team coped with it and I ask for more confidence to be shown in the players.”

With Brazilian international Rafinha ruled out for at least six months with a cruciate ligament injury, Enrique now has just seven midfielders and strikers available.

The blow is just the latest strain on a Barca squad hampered by injuries and a year-long ban from registering new players which will expire in January.

Barca appealed to FIFA to have Turkish midfielder Arda Turan added to their squad due to the seriousness of Rafinha’s injury.

Turan and Aleix Vidal were both signed during the summer transfer window, but can’t be registered to play until January.

However, FIFA believe such a move would be in contravention of their rules.