Barcelona striker Luis Suarez will be out of action for a month after sustaining a knee injury in Wednesday’s Super Cup El Clasico on Wednesday night, as reported on the club’s official website.
It means the Uruguayan will miss at least Barcelona’s first three fixtures of the new La Liga campaign – against Real Betis, Deportivo Alaves and Espanyol – and won’t be back until after September’s international break.
The news compounds an already disastrous summer for the Catalans, who are scrambling to secure a replacement for Neymar after his €222 million move to Paris Saint-Germain.
It also leaves Barca manager Ernesto Valverde in an unfortunate situation; he’s gone from signing for Barcelona in June with the world’s most dangerous attacking trio at his disposal, to possibly lining up against Real Betis on Sunday with a front three of Gerard Deulofeu, Lionel Messi and Paco Alcacer.
His absence won’t just impact Barcelona, though, as Suarez will miss two crucial World Cup Qualification games with Uruguay in September.
Uruguay are currently 3rd in the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying table, a spot which would grant them a direct passage to the World Cup finals, but are facing Argentina, 5th, off the back of three straight losses.
Only one point separates the two nations and with an away trip to Paraguay to follow, another game without the services of the ex-Liverpool man, Uruguay could struggle to book their place for Russia 2018.