Barcelona could be without key defender Samuel Umtiti for several months.
Barcelona could be without key defender Samuel Umtiti for several months after reports emerging from Spain on Friday suggested that he has suffered a serious knee injury.
Barça confirmed themselves that Umtiti was absent from training on Friday ahead of this weekend's clash with Athletic Bilbao due to a feeling of 'discomfort' in his left knee, with a subsequent report from AS soon claiming it was the result of a torn ligament.
If as severe as reported, the injury to Umtiti will put major strain on a defensive unit already struggling for depth as it leaves Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Thomas Vermaelen as the only senior center backs after Yerry Mina and Marlon Santos were both allowed to leave.
Vermaelen is already serving as a backup left back to Jordi Alba, while versatile midfielder Sergi Roberto is the only cover at right back for Barça beyond Nelson Semedo.
More midfielders like Rafinha and Denis Suarez might be drafted into help at fullback, while it is feasible that Sergio Busquets could drop into a center back role in an emergency.