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Nov 14, 2006

Javier Saviola has been ruled out for between four and six weeks after straining his thigh. The injury, together with Leo Messi's, leaves Barça with attacking problems.

After losing Eto'o and then Messi, Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard must now contend with the absence of another forward in Saviola. The Argentinian striker has suffered "a small tear in his left thigh muscle," said a club medical bulletin. "The injury is in a risky area and it will take four to six weeks to recover from."

The former River goalscorer netted Barça's third of the night against Zaragoza, but incurred the injury in virtually the last action of the match. In the absence of Saviola, Rijkaard now has four forwards, Ronaldinho, Ludovic Giuly, Santi Ezquerro and Eidur Gudjohnsen, to choose from for the last few weeks of 2006.

Messi set for Tuesday surgery

The club's medical team have also said that Messi, who will be out for around threemonths, will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair his broken metatarsal bone in his left foot. Antoni Dalmau will be the doctor performing the surgery, which will take place at 9am in the Hospital Asepeyo in Sant Cugat.

Doctor Dalmau and Doctor Ricard Pruna, will then hold a press conference at 1pm in the Camp Nou.

These all players will be available for selection from January 2007, If they recover within the schedule. Barcelona has tough times ahead with Chamion League Qualification and World Club Championship lying ahead in the schedule.. The Three key members in the squad has to start firing in all cylinders - Ronnie, Deco, Xavi

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