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Barcelona dealt massive injury blow ahead of Europa League clash vs Napoli



Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

FC Barcelona centre-back Ronald Araujo has been ruled out for the first leg of the upcoming UEFA Europa League play-off against Napoli on Thursday, reports Matteo Moretto.

Earlier today, the Blaugrana confirmed that the Uruguayan international has suffered an injury to the soleus muscle in his left leg and will remain unavailable until further notice. Araujo picked up the injury during the Catalan derby against Espanyol, featuring in the initial 45 minutes of the tie.

After being sent for scans, Barcelona seemingly accepted that he won’t be fit in time for the European game. However, the 22-year-old is likely to return for the game against Valencia over the weekend.

Araujo now joins Clement Lenglet (hamstring) and Samuel Umtiti (foot) on the injury list, meaning Xavi only has Eric Garcia and Oscar Mingueza as his options to partner seasoned centre-half Gerard Pique in the defensive line-up.

Garcia, who recently returned from a five-week absence from a hamstring injury, is now expected to directly slot into the playing XI against Napoli and might keep his place given there is no immediate date mentioned for Araujo’s return.

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