Mascherano out for up to two weeks

Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano will miss his side's UEFA Champions League trip to Celtic next week due to a hamstring injury. The Argentine international limped off after just 35 minutes of Barça's 4-1 win over Real Sociedad on Tuesday night and tests carried out on Wednesday confirmed that he will be out for up to two weeks.

"Tests realised this morning have confirmed that the hamstring strain will force him out for ten to 15 days," said a statement on Barça's website.

Mascherano will therefore miss Saturday's trip to Almeria as well as the meeting with Celtic and probably the home match against Valladolid on 5 October. His absence leaves Barça boss Gerardo Martino extremely short of cover in central defence with Gerard Pique the only established fully-fit centre back available.

Twenty-two-year-old Marc Bartra replaced Mascherano on Tuesday and scored Barça's fourth goal but is relatively untested, whilst captain Carles Puyol is still working his way back to match fitness following knee surgery in March.

Brazilian full-back Adriano also deputised at centre-back last season, but he is currently filling in for Jordi Alba at left-back as the Spain international is also sidelined with a hamstring injury.