Gerard Pique Eases Barcelona Concerns After Tests Reveal Knee Injury Is Not as Bad as First Feared

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has eased fears he could be set for a month on the sidelines, after tests revealed his knee injury is not as bad as first feared.

The 31-year-old netted ?Barca’s dramatic late equaliser against Espanyol on Sunday but sustained a knock during the second half of a fiery Catalan derby.

As reported by?? ?ESPN, the Spaniard underwent medical tests at the club’s training ground on Monday to determine the extent of the injury sustained at Cornella-El Prat. The results show his injury is not as bad as first feared, with Pique now expected to only miss a couple of weeks of action.

Should the diagnosis of Pique’s injury prove accurate, the centre-back will be ruled out of Thursday’s second leg Copa del Rey tie at the Mestalla, as well as the subsequent league games against Getafe and Eibar.

He could return to full fitness just in time to face ?Chelsea in the Champions League, with Barcelona travelling to Stamford Bridge for the first leg on 20 February.

With fellow central defender Thomas Vermaelen sidelined and Samuel Umtiti suspended, boss Ernesto Valverde is likely to look towards Colombian defender Yerry Mina for Thursday’s semi-final clash against Valencia. 

Espanyol v Barcelona - La Liga

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The 23-year old joined Barca during the January transfer window from Brazilian side Palmeiras for a fee close to €12m, though the defender is yet to make his debut. 

Barca head into the second leg holding a slender 1-0 advantage, with Luis Suarez’s goal at the Nou Camp the difference between the two sides.