Barcelona handed Xavi blow

MADRID - Barcelona midfielder Xavi will be out of action for around 15 days with a thigh-muscle injury, the European champions said on Monday.

The 30-year-old playmaker had to be substituted towards the end of the leaders' first La Liga defeat of the season on Sunday, when they lost 2-1 away to Atletico Madrid.

He will miss the visit of Racing Santander next weekend and the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie away to VfB Stuttgart on February 23.

Xavi joins Seydou Keita, Yaya Toure, Daniel Alves, Eric Abidal and Dmytro Chygrynskiy on Barca's growing injury list.

FEATURE: Bad day for Xavi

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