AAP Soccer

Hamstring injury sidelines Barca’s Dembele

By AAP Newswire

France forward Ousmane Dembele will be out of action for Barcelona for about five weeks due to a hamstring injury suffered in their defeat at Athletic Bilbao in their La Liga opener.

The Spanish champions issued a statement confirming the injury to the player's left leg on the same day Bayern Munich signed Barcelona forward Philippe Coutinho on a season-long loan.

"A medical examination on Ousmane Dembele has diagnosed a strain of his left hamstring and the Frenchman is set to be out for approximately five weeks as a result, the club said on their website.

Dembele's injury layoff is another blow for Barca coach Ernesto Valverde after forward Luis Suarez limped off in the first half of the 1-0 loss away to Bilbao on Friday.

Lionel Messi sat out the match as he recovers from the long-term calf strain that saw him miss the club's pre-season US tour but is expected to return on Sunday when Barca host Real Betis in their next league game.

Dembele has struggled with injury since signing for Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund two years ago.