Injury list grows as Barcelona pay price for Bilbao win

Barcelona, Aug 24 (IANS) Spanish champions FC Barcelona have an injury crisis looming in the wake of a narrow 1-0 win against Athletic Club Bilbao in their La Liga opener.

The win at the San Mames stadium in Bilbao came thanks to striker Luis Suarez’s goal, but their La Liga title defence kick-off came at a heavy price as defender Dani Alves and midfielder Sergio Busquets had to leave the game through injury on Sunday, reports Xinhua.

Early indications are that Alves could have a groin injury which would leave him out of action for around a month, while Busquets has a twisted ankle which makes him doubtful for the next match.

“They are things which are part of football. It is a sport which is demanding at a physical level and if we have to start the season which games which are as demanding as this, then it is normal for injuries to happen,” said coach Luis Enrique after the match on Sunday.

“It is a contact sport and we are not having a lot of luck,” he added.

Barcelona will also be without injured defender Adriano when they entertain club Malaga next weekend, while star striker Neymar is starting his recovery following a bout of mumps, and defender Gerard Pique is serving the second game of a four-match ban.

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