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'Bitter blow' for Cocu and Barça

Published: Thursday 27 February 2003, 15.30CET
FC Barcelona coach Radomir Antic has expressed his concern at losing Phillip Cocu for up to three months.
Published: Thursday 27 February 2003, 15.30CET

'Bitter blow' for Cocu and Barça

FC Barcelona coach Radomir Antic has expressed his concern at losing Phillip Cocu for up to three months.

FC Barcelona's satisfaction at securing an important 0-0 UEFA Champions League draw at Internazionale FC has been tempered by a serious injury to Phillip Cocu and a lesser one to Carlos Puyol.

Ligament damage
Dutch international midfield player Cocu was carried off on a stretcher after 59 minutes of the game in Italy following a collision with Inter defender Javier Zanetti. He is likely to be out of action for two to three months. Club doctor Ricard Prunea confirmed that the Barcelona captain had sustained a partial tear of his internal lateral ligament, and Cocu is to undergo a scan today to establish the full extent of the injury.

'Bitter blow'
Barça coach Radomir Antic described the loss of Cocu as "a bitter blow", adding: "Cocu is very important for us both as a player and as the team captain. All we can do now is pray that he recovers in the expected time." Cocu will definitely miss the remaining two games in the second group stage and almost certainly the quarter-finals as well - should the Catalans earn the remaining point they need to advance.

Head injury
Puyol accidentally clashed heads with team-mate Frank de Boer against Inter and also had to be replaced. However, he only sustained a black eye and some swelling and the club hope he will recover in time for the Primera División game against Club Atlético Osasuna on Sunday.

Top spot
Barcelona currently top Group A with ten points from four games, and can confirm their quarter-final place with a draw at home against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on 11 March. Their final game in the section is against Newcastle United FC away on Matchday 12, the following week.

Last updated: 02/03/03 17.18CET

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