Coutinho facing up to three weeks out with hamstring injury

By Sports Desk November 08, 2018

Philippe Coutinho is facing up to three weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, Barcelona have confirmed.

The Brazil international completed 90 minutes in Barca's 1-1 draw at Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday but was in some discomfort by the final whistle.

A statement released by Barcelona read: Tests undertaken on Thursday morning have confirmed that Philippe Coutinho has a small rupture in the femoral biceps of his left leg.

"He will be out for approximately two to three weeks."

The prognosis rules Coutinho out of this weekend's LaLiga meeting with Real Betis and Brazil's forthcoming UK-based friendlies against Uruguay and Cameroon.

Ernesto Valverde's men face a crunch clash with title rivals Atletico Madrid when LaLiga resumes on November 24 and that game is likely to be Coutinho's target.

The former Liverpool man has become an increasingly influential figure at Barcelona since joining in January and has five goals this season, including the opener in their 5-1 Clasico demolition of Real Madrid.

Barca are three points clear of city rivals Espanyol at the top of the table after 11 matches, with Atleti four points behind the champions in fourth.

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    Valverde's future with the LaLiga champions was thrown into doubt last month when he told Barca's in-house TV channel he did not know for sure if he would be at the club in the 2019-2020 campaign.

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    Speaking to Sport, Bartomeu said: "We don't have any doubts here that Valverde will be the Barcelona coach next season. 

    "We will speak with him, of course, in time. That's what we agreed. He's a coach we have a lot of confidence in. 

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    Bartomeu also spoke about the future of Spain full-back Jordi Alba, who in November said it was "strange" that talks over a new deal had not begun despite his contract running out in 2020.

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