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Barcelona confirm Thomas Vermaelen out for six weeks with hamstring injury

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More defensive problems for the champions

Valencia CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona confirmed on Monday that defender Thomas Vermaelen will be out for six weeks after picking up a hamstring problem while on international duty with Belgium.

The centre-back was forced off during Belgium’s 2-1 win over Switzerland on Friday and now faces yet another spell on the sidelines.

The news is a real blow with Samuel Umtiti also sidelined curently with a knee problem. There have been different reports over the severity of the French defender’s injury, and it’s still unclear when he will return to action.

The injuries means that Barcelona only have two fit senior centre-backs available in Gerard Pique and summer signing Clement Lenglet, ahead of a tough run of fixtures.

Ernesto Valverde’s side take on La Liga leaders Sevilla in their first game back after the international break, followed by Inter Milan in the Champions League and then Real Madrid.

Reports have suggested that Barcelona B defender Jorge Cuenca could be called into the squad as back-up while Vermaelen and Umtiti are out.