Andres Iniesta will not be risked for Barcelona's tantalising La Liga clash with Sevilla as he recovers from a persistent thigh injury.
Spanish news outlet Sport has exclusively revealed that the club captain will not take part in the match against Los Nerviosos at Camp Nou on Saturday evening as he continues to be plagued by the strain that has ruled him out of the last two games.
That time on the sidelines will now stretch into a third consecutive encounter - Iniesta having missed the Athletic Bilbao and Olympiakos bouts - due to La Blaugrana's desire to not aggravate the problem.
Iniesta's recovery is said to be going positively and Barca hope that he will fit in time to resume full training during the international break. The 33-year-old will, therefore, also not take part in Spain's November friendlies against Costa Rica and Russia.
Barcelona think that 18 days on the treatment table between now and the 18th November away match against Leganes will be ample time for Iniesta to fully recover from his knock and lead them out at Estadio Municipal de Butarque.
Iniesta picked up the issue in training after his team's 2-0 defeat of Malaga on 21st October and his unavailability has compounded a mounting centre midfield injury crisis at the club.
Manager Ernesto Valverde is now without Iniesta, Andre Gomes, Rafinha and Sergi Roberto for the visit of Sevilla - the latter trio also being ruled out of contention due to hamstring and knee injuries respectively.
Valverde still has Sergio Busquets, Paulinho, Ivan Rakitic and Denis Suarez to call upon though, and should therefore be stocked enough to make it to the international break without any further complications.
Iniesta, who recently penned a new deal to tie him to Barcelona for life, has made 12 appearances so far for La Liga's runaway leaders this term.