Barcelona lose Victor Valdes for six weeks

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Barcelona will be without number one goalkeeper Victor Valdes for around six weeks after the stopper suffered a tear in his calf muscle on international duty last night.

Valdes was quickly diagnosed with the problem after playing the second half for Spain in last night's 1-0 defeat to South Africa in Johannesburg, flown home with crutches as a precaution.

Barca club doctors have carried out extensive tests on the 31-year-old this afternoon and concluded that he will unavailable for selection until 2014, limiting Gerardo Martino's options still further.

La Liga's leaders are currently in the grip of an injury crisis which shows no sign of letting up, with Valdes joining forward talisman Lionel Messi on the list of long-term absentees.

The Catalan giants will now likely turn to stand-in stopper Jose Manuel Pinto this weekend, while Cesc Fabregas could continue in a withdrawn strike role.

Defensive mainstays Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique are also still recovering from knocks, which leaves Martino's options stretched ahead of Saturday's clash with Granada.

Martino has already been forced to draft in a number of academy starlets to make up the numbers up in training, with Christian Tello also doubtful after complaining of pain in his ankle earlier today.

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Victor Valdes

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