Barcelona's nightmare has continued after it was confirmed Sergio Aguero is likely to be out until mid-October due to a calf injury.
Already having to contend with the unexpected departure of talisman Lionel Messi, Barca are in a dire financial situation heading into the new season.
They will now also be without one of their new arrivals for up to 10 weeks, though LaLiga's salary restrictions have meant Barca have not yet been able to register Aguero, who joined on a free transfer from Premier League champions Manchester City.
The 33-year-old left City after 10 years with the club, but his final season was hampered by injury and COVID-19 lay offs.
He managed only eight starts in 2020-21, playing 720 minutes in total across 20 appearances in all competitions.
Aguero's tally of six goals – two of which came from the penalty spot – was by far the fewest he managed for City since joining in 2011. Indeed, his previous low was 17, in the 2012-13 season.
His Barca career has now stalled before it has even started.
Reports in Spain on Monday suggested Aguero had already been expected to miss a month due to the injury, but further tests had revealed a tendon tear in his inner right calf – this was subsequently confirmed by Barca.
"Tests carried out on first-team player Kun Aguero have confirmed a right calf injury. He will be out around 10 weeks," a Barca statement read.
LATEST NEWS | Tests carried out on first team player Kun Agüero have confirmed a right calf injury. He will be out around ten weeks. pic.twitter.com/wZNU4ahV0c— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 9, 2021
Aguero will miss Barca's opening nine LaLiga fixtures and at least the first two rounds of the Champions League group stage.
Reports emerged over the weekend that Aguero wished to leave Barca already, with the possibility of playing with his good friend and compatriot Messi having been a major factor in his decision to sign on at Camp Nou.
On Sunday, Aguero posted a farewell message to Messi on his official Instagram account.
"All the best in whatever comes my friend. And always with that smile. I love you," the post read.
Barca kick-off their LaLiga campaign – and the post-Messi era against Real Sociedad on Sunday.