MADRID (Reuters) - Barcelona’s injury woes deepened on Tuesday when tests showed Xavi had a hamstring strain, Victor Valdes limped out of Spain’s friendly in South Africa and Cristian Tello suffered ankle ligament damage in training.
Goalkeeper Valdes, who has been in superb form this season, was forced off in the second half of the world and European champions’ surprise 1-0 defeat at Soccer City in Johannesburg after replacing Iker Casillas at halftime.
The Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) said on the national team’s official Twitter feed he had a suspected tear to his right calf muscle and would have tests to determine the extent of the injury.
Playmaker Xavi and winger Tello are both doubtful for Saturday’s La Liga game at home to Granada, the Spanish champions said on their website (www.fcbarcelona.com).
Xavi had a problem with his left hamstring and Tello has damaged ligaments in his right ankle.
Barca are already missing World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, who was ruled out for up to eight weeks after tearing a leg muscle in this month’s 4-1 La Liga win at Real Betis.
Defenders Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba worked apart from their team mates on Tuesday as they continued their recoveries, Barca said, without specifying whether they would be available for Saturday’s game at the Nou Camp.
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who could replace Xavi in central midfield against eighth-placed Granada, again trained normally as he works his way back from a knee problem picked up in the Betis game.
Unbeaten Barca top La Liga by three points from Atletico Madrid after 13 matches, with Real Madrid a further three points adrift in third.
Atletico are at home to Getafe on Saturday, when Real play at promoted Almeria.
Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Ed Osmond