Barcelona lose Afellay to muscle surgery

Barcelona forward Ibrahim Afellay will undergo surgery on a thigh muscle injury on Thursday, the club have confirmed.

The Dutchman spent last season on loan with German side Schalke having returned from an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury suffered during his second season at Barca.

But he will now endure another spell on the sidelines, with the Catalan club set to reveal the length of the 27-year-old's lay-off after he has gone under the knife.

Afellay made 10 Bundesliga appearances for Schalke last season, scoring two goals.

The Netherlands international began his career with PSV Eindhoven and helped them to four Eredivisie titles before opting for a switch to La Liga.

However, his three seasons as a Barcelona player have yielded just 34 appearances and two goals.

Barcelona opened their 2013-14 league campaign with a 7-0 victory against Levante.