MADRID, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona's injury problems got worse on Tuesday with the news that Uruguayan central defender Ronald Araujo has suffered a muscle injury that could sideline him for three key games.
Araujo was substituted during Uruguay's World Cup qualifying game against Argentina on Sunday with a hamstring injury, with the Barcelona website confirming that he "has suffered an injury to his right hamstring."
The defender will miss Uruguay's next game against Brazil and instead fly back to Barcelona for tests to determine the full extent of his injury.
However, it looks as if it will be impossible for him to play in Sunday's LaLiga game at home to Valencia in the Camp Nou Stadium, while he has to be a major doubt for Barca's vital Champions League clash at home to Dynamo Kiev the following Wednesday (Oct 20th) and the first 'Clasico' of the season at home to Real Madrid on October 24th.
Sunday's game against Valencia is vital for Ronald Koeman, who continues to cling on as coach despite most expecting him to be sacked in the wake of the 2-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid before the international break.
The match against Kiev is arguably even more important as Barca have to win their two matches against the Ukrainian side after suffering 3-0 defeats to both Bayern Munich and Benfica in their opening Champions League group games. Failure to beat the Ukrainians would leave Barca with very few options of reaching the knockout stage of the tournament with a subsequent blow to their prestige and also an important blow to the club's already ruinous economic state.
Meanwhile, the 'Clasico' is one of the biggest games of any season and if possible, Koeman will want to have Araujo, who has arguably been Barca's best player this season, available for such a key contest.