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Barca forward out for two weeks with ankle sprain

Barcelona, Monday @PeopleSports11

Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out for two weeks after spraining his ankle at the weekend, the Spanish champions announced on Monday.

“Tests carried out on first team player Ousmane Dembele have confirmed a sprained ankle that will keep him out of action for approximately 15 days,” the club said in a statement.

The 21-year-old will miss both legs of Barca’s Copa del Rey quarter-final with Champions League-chasing Sevilla after picking up the injury during his side’s 3-1 home win over Leganes on Sunday, which maintained the Catalans’ five-point lead at the top of La Liga.

France international Dembele opened the scoring in the 32nd minute of his 50th Barca appearance with his 13th goal of the season. He will also be unavailable for La Liga clashes with Girona and Valencia.

Dembele excelled, but it was Lionel Messi’s contribution that proved decisive as Barcelona beat Leganes for their seventh straight La Liga win.

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde needs to rotate his squad in this busy period to keep players fresh for the Champions League knockout rounds.

On Sunday it was Messi’s turn, the Argentine being left out of the starting line-up for the first time since his return from a broken arm in November.

But the Catalans were being held 1-1 when Messi came on in the 64th minute, and he duly made the second goal for Luis Suarez before sealing victory with his 18th league goal this season.

“There are lots of games,” Valverde said. “We talk to the players and decide when it may be good for them to rest,” he added.  -AFP

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