Barcelona have confirmed that Denis Suarez will be sidelined for up to three weeks with a groin injury.
Denis, 24, picked up the knock in the first half of Wednesday’s Catalan Super Cup win against Espanyol and was replaced by Barca B’s Christian Rivera.
The former Villarreal and Sevilla midfielder was making his first appearance since Jan. 17 and just his third start of the calendar year.
None of those starts were in La Liga, though, with his only minutes in Spain’s top flight in 2018 coming in stoppage time of Barca’s 4-2 win against Real Sociedad at the beginning of January.
Coach Ernesto Valverde has not even called him up for the last five league matches, and he was an unused substitute in the Champions League draw with Chelsea.
However, he looked set to return to the squad for this weekend’s game against Malaga with captain Andres Iniesta missing with a hamstring injury.
Barca have not confirmed how long Iniesta will be missing for and remain hopeful of having him available in some capacity for Wednesday’s second leg against Chelsea at Camp Nou.
Denis was one of Barca’s better players against Espanyol before being forced off in the 43rd minute after a challenge from Didac Vila, who also had to be taken off.
In total, he has made 19 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring three goals and providing six assists.