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Barca lose captain Puyol with dislocated elbow

English.news.cn   2012-10-03 19:14:49            

MADRID, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona captain suffered another blow of bad luck on the day he returned to action following a knee injury.

Puyol returned to the Barcelona side for the 2-0 win in the Champions League away to Benfica after less than a month on the sidelines when he had been expected to be out of action for around six weeks.

However, his return to action lasted just 75 minutes before a bad fall as he jumped for a header saw him fall badly and dislocate his elbow.

TV images showed Puyol's arm twisted the wring way and the Barca captain was clearly in agony as he was carried off the pitch, to a generous round of applause from the Benfica fans. The club confirmed that Puyol' s elbow had been reset and that the 34-year-old has been given pain-killers and his arm immobilized to allow him to return with his team-mates to Barcelona.

The club also confirmed that he will need further tests to see whether or not he has suffered ligament damage to his arm. If this is the case then Puyol will need surgery on the elbow, if not he will hopefully be able to return to action before the end of the year.

The injury is a huge blow to Barcelona ahead of this Sunday's league match at home to Real Madrid in which Barca could extend their lead over their bitter rivals to 11 points.

Gerard Pique is still out with a muscle injury and is unlikely to play on Sunday, meaning Barca coach Tito Vilanova will have to rely on the pairing of Javier Mascherano and Alex Song, neither of whom are specialist central defenders, against a fearsome Madrid attack containing, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel De Maria and Karim Benzema.

Vilanova insisted after Tuesday's game that he had alternatives to play in defense, but the club will be hoping Puyol is back in action as soon as possible.

The defender was optimistic of that, posting a photo on his 'twitter' page on Wednesday morning with the message, "The sun will soon shine again and I will get back to my best quickly."

The good news for Barca on Tuesday was that midfielder Andres Iniesta made a substitute appearance after recovering from his thigh injury and should be fit for the weekend.

Editor: Tang Danlu
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