Mascherano: Puyol injury a massive blow

Barcelona utility man Javier Mascherano has admitted that Carles Puyol’s injury is a massive blow to the Catalan outfit.

The veteran defender was forced off during Tuesday’s 2-0 Champions League win over Benfica after landing awkwardly following a corner from the Portuguese side.

Puyol is now expected to be out until Christmas with a dislocated elbow, but Mascherano is hopeful that Barcelona captain will return sooner than expected as they prepare for the weekends La Liga clash with Real Madrid.

"Puyol’s injury is really bad news, he’s the captain, a fantastic player and a man who brings a lot to the group and the team," said Mascherano.

"Now he’s picked up another injury but hopefully we can have him back with us soon."

The Argentina international spoke of his satisfaction following Barcelona’s win over Benfica, who he feels gave the Spaniards a tough test.

"We played against an intense team, they pressured us quite a bit and they have quality players," added the 28-year-old.

"We scored a goal in the first half and that calmed us down, we could have scored more and we finally did in the second half.

"We’re coming into the Clasico on form."