Barcelona have confirmed Sergio Busquets is expected to miss their Europa League clash with Manchester United later this month.
The 34-year-old remains a fixture of the first-team under Xavi, making 27 appearances even despite links with a move to MLS side Inter Miami.
A hugely experienced figure in central midfield, Busquets continues to play a leading role as Barca chase a first LaLiga title without Lionel Messi since 1999.
Later this month, they are set for a Europa League glamour tie against United, with the first leg kicking off at the Camp Nou on February 16.
Busquets, however, will likely miss the game after spraining his ankle ligament during Barca’s 3-0 win over Sevilla on Monday.
The club captain was forced off after only four minutes and was duly sent for tests, from which the club have revealed: “Tests carried out this morning have revealed that Sergio Busquets has a lateral collateral ligament sprain in his left ankle. He is out and his recovery will determine his availability.”
Without Busquets, United transfer target Frenkie De Jong is expected to partner Spanish internationals Pedri and Gavi in midfield.
Barca are also sweating over the fitness of Ousmane Dembele, who has missed the last two games as a result of a hamstring injury.