MADRID — FC Barcelona faces losing central defender Gerard Pique for around two months with a knee injury that he suffered in Saturday night’s 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid. However, the injury is less serious than first feared.

The veteran went down after an accidental collision with Atletico forward Angel Correa in the second half of the game. TV replays showed the collision had caused the defender’s knee to bend alarmingly from side to side, prompting fears he could have torn his cruciate ligament.

Following the match, Barcelona published a ‘tweet’ informing that Pique has “a twist in his right knee,” adding he would undergo “more tests” to discover just how long he will be out.

Although a twisted knee will keep Pique out until the New Year, it is much less serious than a torn ligament, which would have almost certainly required surgery a recovery time of around six months.

Right-back Sergio Roberto was also injured on Saturday, suffering a tear in the front of his right calf, and he looks likely to be out of action for around a month.

The two injuries come at a bad time for Barca coach Ronald Koeman, who is still without French defender Samuel Umtiti with a long-running knee injury, while 21-year-old Ronald Araujo is still out of action after suffering a thigh injury at the end of October.

The Barca coach’s solution to Pique’s injury on Saturday was to drop midfielder Frenkie de Jong alongside Clement Lenglet in central defense and to move Sergi Roberto into midfield, but with Roberto now injured and Sergio Busquets also out with a knee problem, his midfield options are also limited, and the coach will now have few options other than to call on Carles Alena or Riqui Puig, neither of whom have been in his plans since arriving.

Barca’s next game sees them travel to play Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League on Tuesday before entertaining Osasuna in the Camp Nou next Sunday.

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