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Puyol challenge sidelines Motta

FC Barcelona's Thiago Motta will be out for six weeks after a training ground tackle left him with torn ligaments.

FC Barcelona midfield player Thiago Motta will be unavailable for at least six weeks after tearing ligaments during a training session yesterday.

Heavy challenge
The squad were in for some light training following Saturday's 3-1 derby victory against RCD Espanyol, but the session ended with Motta being taken to a local medical centre for tests following a heavy challenge from defender Carles Puyol. The head of Barça's medical staff, Lluís Til, estimates that the 21-year-old Brazilian will be back playing before the end of January.

Christmas break
Barcelona end 2003 with a home game against RC Celta de Vigo next Sunday and resume after the Christmas break with a 4 January fixture against Real Racing Club Santander. The Catalan club's UEFA Cup campaign resumes on 26 February with a third-round tie against Brøndby IF in Denmark.