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Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo suffers sprained ankle against Real Betis

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The defender was hurt in the early stages

Real Betis v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Barcelona suffered a major injury blow on Sunday as Ronald Araujo was forced off with what looked like an ankle injury in the opening 10 minutes of the game at Real Betis.

The Uruguay international seemed to catch his studs in the turf and looked in real pain before hobbling off and being replaced by Frenkie de Jong.

Barca confirmed later that Araujo has sprained his left ankle.

Araujo’s injury also disrupted Ronald Koeman’s plans to rest De Jong. The Netherlands international had started on the bench but was called into action early on.

The defender’s injury is a huge blow for Barcelona ahead of key games against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey semi-finals and PSG in the Champions League last-16.

Araujo has looked Barca’s best defender this season since coming into the team and replacing Gerard Pique at center-back.

The youngster has been guilty of some errors, notably against Elche, but showed his maturity and character by taking responsibility straight after the match

Barca do have Oscar Mingueza, Clement Lenglet, and Samuel Umtiti as center-back options, while Gerard Pique has been back in training this week and is nearing a return.

Let’s hope Araujo’s injury is not too serious and he’s back in action soon.