Andres Iniesta has suffered an LCL injury against Valencia, his club FC Barcelona confirmed with a statement on their website. The Spaniard was feared to have suffered a very serious injury initially and is likely to miss 3 to 4 months, which means he will miss the rest of the calendar year – a huge blow for the La Liga champions.
Just 11 minutes into Barcelona’s game against Valencia at the Mestalla, Iniesta chased a ball down while competing with Enzo Perez. The Valencia destroyer made a perfectly legal sliding tackle to deny Iniesta but appeared to have caught the Spaniard from behind with his trailing left foot.
There was immediate concern for Iniesta as his pain was readily apparent with Spaniard choking back the tears in pain. The Barcelona captain was stretchered off to warm applause from the Mestalla, but Luis Enrique looked greatly concerned as the initial fears were that Iniesta would be out for the season.
However, Barcelona have confirmed that the Spaniard has suffered a partial tear to his lateral collateral ligament, which is usually a 3-4 month absence. However, the Catalans have not confirmed how long Iniesta will be out for, noting that their captain will return to Barcelona for more tests.
Here is Barcelona’s statement, in full:
The first team player Andrés Iniesta has injured the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. When he arrives in Barcelona the player will have more tests to find out the exact extent of the injury.
Barcelona’s injury crisis worsens
Overall it was a relatively great day for Barcelona, as they pulled off an injury-time win thanks to Lionel Messi’s penalty in the 94th minute to defeat Valencia 3-2, after Luis Suarez had earned the penalty. It was a precious three points for Barcelona, who looked disjointed after Iniesta went off with his injury, but relied on Suarez’ and Messi’s individual brilliance to pull through.
The Catalans already have Arda Turan, Gerard Pique, Jasper Cillessen, Jordi Alba and Rafinha injured in addition to Andres Iniesta. However, this affords the likes of Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez a chance to step up for Barcelona, although they looked distinctly mediocre against Valencia.
Barcelona have risen to the top of La Liga table after their 3-2 win over Valencia, with 19 points, although Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have yet to play in this round of La Liga fixtures.