Dembele a doubt for return leg due to hamstring injury
Barcelona have confirmed that Ousmane Dembele suffered a hamstring injury in their defeat by Celta Vigo yesterday morning (Singapore time), with the Frenchman unlikely to recover in time to face Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday morning.
Dembele was taken off in the sixth minute against Celta as a much-changed Barca side were beaten 2-0 in La Liga.
"The tests performed... have confirmed that the French player of the first team has a muscular injury in the femoral biceps of the right thigh," Barca said in a statement yesterday.
"The player is out and his recovery will decide his availability."
Ernesto Valverde rested all 11 players that started in Barcelona's 3-0 win over Liverpool in the first leg of the semi-final last week.
Arturo Vidal was the only player from that first XI to play against Celta, coming on only in the final 28 minutes.
Dembele would have been in contention to start at Anfield, perhaps instead of Philippe Coutinho, who was whistled at during the first leg at Nou Camp when he was substituted in the second half.
Valverde will hope to have Dembele back for the Copa del Rey final against Valencia on May 25 in Seville, as well as a potential Champions League final on June 1 in Madrid.
Dembele has scored 14 goals this season for Barca in all competitions but they will still be confident of seeing out the tie at Anfield without him after two goals from Lionel Messi and one from Luis Suarez gave the Catalans a huge first-leg advantage.
Dembele missed almost four months with a hamstring strain last season and suffered from problems in the same area in January and March, sitting out for another month each time.
- REUTERS, AFP
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