Iniesta out for three weeks

Andres Iniesta, Barcelona

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has been ruled out for three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury against Real Madrid on Wednesday.

The club’s website confirmed this after the Spanish international limped off before the break during their Copa del Rey tie.

The competition is proving to be an unlucky one for the 27-year-old after he picked up a similar injury during the 9-0 win over third division side L’Hospitalet in December.

Barcelona have not brought in any new players during this transfer window although they already had David Villa, Ibrahim Afellay and Andreu Fontas on the injury list.

The absence of Seydou Keita who is on international duty with Mali, as well as the new injuries to Iniesta and Alexis Sanchez mean that Pep Guardiola will be forced to reinforce his squad using players from the reserve team.

In previous years this plan has worked for the Catalans but with them not in the driving seat this time around, the pressure of having to keep up with Real Madrid could prove too much for the depleted squad.