Barcelona defender Sergi Roberto is reportedly set to miss the club's remaining matches prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Roberto had to be stretchered off the field in the second half of the Blaugrana's La Liga encounter against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday (October 23). The club later released a statement that confirmed that the right-back had dislocated his left shoulder.
According to Mundo Deportivo (via Barca Universal), the Spaniard is likely to be out of action until the World Cup begins in Qatar next month. The report further added that Roberto may also miss out on a spot in Spain's squad for the quadrennial event. La Roja boss Luis Enrique was reportedly set to call him up.
Roberto's injury adds to Barcelona's defensive woes, with Xavi Hernandez's side already without Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen. Hector Bellerin was an unused substitute against Athletic Bilbao upon his return to the squad. Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia are both fit, but have been in woeful form of late.
The injuries to Araujo and Bellerin have seen Roberto receive more time on the pitch than Barcelona may have expected to give him. He has played 12 matches across all competitions this term, recording a goal and an assist. His lone goal notably came in the first half against Bilbao on Sunday.
Barcelona cruise past Athletic Bilbao following first-half burst
Barcelona have flattered to deceive in the month of October. They are on the verge of exiting the UEFA Champions League in the group stages for the second season running and also lost the first Clasico of the La Liga campaign.
Xavi's side needed to improve their performances following the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid on October 16 and have responded with two fantastic league wins.
Having defeated Villarreal CF 3-0 in their previous match, the Blaugrana were on top from the start against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Ousmane Dembele opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a superb header from Robert Lewandowski's cross.
Dembele then set up Sergi Roberto six minutes later, with the Spaniard scoring via a deflection. The Frenchman went on to tee up Lewandowski in the 22nd minute and the Pole fired home from inside the box following an exquisite turn to beat his man.
The 10-minute burst was enough for Barcelona to effectively seal the contest but there was one more goal to come. Dembele completed a hat-trick of assists as Ferran Torres added a fourth in the 73rd minute to complete the rout.