New Delhi: Samuel Umtiti, who plays as a defender for La Liga club, FC Barcelona, suffered a hamstring injury and is expected to be sidelined for eight weeks due to a hamstring injury, the Spanish football league leaders announced. The injury also means that the 24-year-old will miss the first El Clasico of the season, which will take place on December 23.

Umtiti, who was forced to leave the field in the second half of the team’s 2-2 draw on Saturday against Celta Vigo at Camp Nou, was injured while trying to chase down Iago Aspas that ended with the visitors scoring their second goal.

“The draw against Celta brought some bad news for Barça in the form of injury. Tests carried out have confirmed that Samuel Umtiti has a hamstring injury in his right leg and he is expected to be out for around 8 weeks,” the club said on its website.

Umtiti’s injury adds to Barcelona’s defensive woes, as Argentine Javier Mascherano also remains sidelined due to a hamstring injury.

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde plans to replace Umtiti with Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen, whose role has grown larger due to his teammates’ injuries. (With IANS inputs)