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Long lay-off for Luis Enrique

Published: Monday 10 March 2003, 20.30CET
FC Barcelona's club captain Luis Enrique faces six weeks out of action.
Published: Monday 10 March 2003, 20.30CET

Long lay-off for Luis Enrique

FC Barcelona's club captain Luis Enrique faces six weeks out of action.

Luis Enrique could miss both legs of a prospective UEFA Champions League quarter-final should FC Barcelona get the remaining qualification point they require after being ruled out for six weeks.

Recent injury
The club captain picked up his latest injury on Saturday in the 1-1 draw against Real Valladolid. Luis Enrique, who only returned a fortnight ago from a four-month lay-off with achilles tendon damage, ripped a thigh muscle in his left leg just seven minutes after replacing Juan Riquelme at Camp Nou.

'Delicate area'
Ricard Pruna, Barcelona's club doctor, said of the injury: "It is in a delicate area and we have to be very careful. It will take close to six weeks for him to recover, although we will try and speed things up if we can. Right now, the most important thing is to give the player all the support he needs."

Major doubt
The 32-year-old will miss both of Barça's two remaining second group stage matches. Radomir Antic's side need only a draw against either Bayer 04 Leverkusen tomorrow or Newcastle United FC next week to reach the last eight. With the quarter-finals scheduled to take place on 8/9 and 22/23 April, Luis Enrique would be a major doubt should he need the full six weeks recover.

Madrid in town
Luis Enrique is expected to miss six league matches, including the visit of former club Real Madrid CF to the Santiago Bernabéu on 20 April. Fellow midfield player Phillip Cocu is also currently injured, along with defender Carlos Puyol and striker Dani García. Barcelona are ninth in the 20-team Spanish Primera División.

Last updated: 11/03/03 12.26CET

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