Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué will be absent for the Champions League return leg against PSG after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury in the Copa del Rey comeback victory over Sevilla on Wednesday, the club have confirmed. Piqué returned to action for Ronald Koeman’s side in the opening leg of the last-16 clash with the Ligue 1 champions but was unable to prevent an irresistible Kylian Mbappé from spearheading a 4-1 defeat in Camp Nou and now the Barcelona boss will be forced to move to Plan B for the return at the Parc des Princes, where Neymar will be availablefor Mauricio Pochettino as PSG seek to avenge their remarkable aggregate loss at the same stage in 2016-17 when the Brazilian tormented Unai Emery’s side.
Piqué was out of action for two and a half months after sustaining a knee injury in November against Atlético and Barcelona’s medical staff confirmed Wednesday’s issue was a recurrence of that problem, a sprain in the medial collateral ligament. In some good news for Piqué and Koeman, on this occasion there was no damage to the anterior cruciate ligament, with the prognosis that he will be sidelined for around three weeks.
That means Piqué will be ruled out for the return leg against PSG, where Barça already face a huge task to overturn a three-goal deficit, and also Liga fixtures against Osasuna, Huesca and Real Sociedad as Koeman’s side attempt to chase down Atlético at the top of the table under pressure from Real Madrid. Piqué is likely to make a return to the pitch after the upcoming international break when Barça play Valladolid on 4 April.
As it stands, Koeman has a shortage in the heart of defence with Ronald Araújo also unavailable at the moment. This weekend away at Osasuna, Koeman will have just three fit central defenders in Clément Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti and Óscar Mingueza with Araújo facing a race to be passed fit to face PSG on 10 March.