December 17, 2018 / 2:24 PM / 6 months ago

Soccer-Barca short at the back with Vermaelen ruled out for a month

MADRID, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Thomas Vermaelen will be out a month after tearing a calf muscle, Barcelona said Monday, leaving the Spanish champions with just two fit centre-backs.

The Belgian was substituted after sustaining the injury during Barca’s 5-0 win at Levante on Sunday, which sent them three points clear at the top of La Liga.

“Tests carried out on the defender show that he has torn a muscle in his right calf and will be out for around four weeks,” Barcelona said in a statement.

With Samuel Umtiti taking treatment on a knee cartilage problem in Qatar, it leaves Barcelona with only Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet able to play in the heart of their defence. (Reporting by Rik Sharma Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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