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Barcelona confirm Vermaelen blow

Barcelona have confirmed that Thomas Vermaelen suffered a calf injury in his left leg during his side's 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

The Belgium defender had to be replaced by Jeremy Mathieu in only the 28th minute at the Vicente Calderon as Luis Enrique's men came from behind to beat their La Liga title rivals thanks to goals from Neymar and substitute Lionel Messi.

Vermaelen was only able to play 63 league minutes for Barca over the whole of last season having struggled all year with a hamstring injury suffered at the World Cup after signing from Arsenal.

While this injury has occurred in his other leg, it is still reportedly set to keep the 29-year-old out for around three weeks and occurs when Gerard Pique still has one match of his four-game suspension to serve.

If reports over the timescale on Vermaelen's return prove accurate, he is likely to miss league fixtures against Levante, Celta Vigo, Las Palmas and potentially the Sevilla clash on October 3, as well as UEFA Champions League ties with Roma and Bayer Leverkusen.