FC Barcelona

Sergi Roberto ruled out of Barcelona - Alaves with thigh injury

Tom Gott
Roberto is the latest injury casualty
Roberto is the latest injury casualty / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Barcelona have confirmed that utility man Sergi Roberto has suffered a thigh injury which will keep him out of Saturday's meeting with Alaves.

Roberto managed an hour of Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano, after which he complained of muscle pain which came him out of training on Thursday.

His involvement against Alaves has obviously been in doubt ever since, but Barcelona have now confirmed that he hasn't made it back in time and will watch Saturday's game from the stands.

There's no mention of how severe the issue is or when he will return, with Barcelona simply stating that his recovery progress will dictate how long he will be absent.

Roberto's injury could hardly come at a worse time for interim coach Sergi Barjuan, who has plenty of other issues to contend with for his first game in charge of the senior squad.

The 29-year-old had been expected to shift back into midfield for this one to help cover the absences of Pedri and Frenkie de Jong, both of whom are battling hamstring injuries which will keep them out until after the international break.

Pedri had hoped to make it back sooner but recently aggravated his problem during a brief return to training, and Barcelona have now decided that he'll remain on the sidelines until he is completely ready to make a comeback.

That means veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets is going to be joined by a handful of youngsters, with 17-year-old Gavi likely to line up alongside either 22-year-old Riqui Puig or 19-year-old Nico Gonzalez.

Elsewhere, Ronald Araujo is out at the back. The Uruguayan is also battling a hamstring problem and is not ready to return yet.

Ansu Fati is also out after picking up a knee injury last time out, while Martin Braithwaite remains sidelined with a knee issue of his own.

There had been cautious optimism that winger Ousmane Dembele could return against Alaves. The 24-year-old has been out with - you guessed it - a hamstring issue, and although he is close to coming back, Barcelona don't want to risk bringing him back just yet.