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Xavi joins Messi on sidelines as Barca injury woes grow

BARCELONA'S injury woes deepened yesterday when tests showed that their Spain playmaker Xavi had a muscle problem in his left leg and might not be available for Saturday's La Liga game at home to Granada.

"Xavi is a doubt against Granada," the Spanish champions said.

"The player will continue with a specific programme and his development will determine his availability for the next match."

Barca are already missing World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, who was ruled out for up to eight weeks after tearing a muscle in this month's 4-1 La Liga win at Real Betis.

Defenders Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba worked apart from their teammates yesterday.

Midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who could replace Xavi in central midfield, again trained normally as he works his way back from a knee problem.

Unbeaten Barca top La Liga by three points from Atletico Madrid after 13 matches, with Real Madrid in third.