BARCELONA star Rafinha is facing nine months on the sidelines after tearing a ligament in his knee.
The Brazilian, 26, ripped his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid.
Reuters3 Rafinha suffered a horror knee ligament injury during the Atleti draw
It was a game of bad fortune for Barcelona, who only turned to Rafinha at half-time following injury to starting centre-mid Sergi Roberto.
Roberto limped off moments before the break with what turned out to be a ruptured hamstring muscle.
Rafinha joined the action after half-time, picked up the horror injury and still played on until the final whistle, as Barca stole a last-gasp draw thanks to Ousmane Dembele.
The Brazil ace is now expected to miss anywhere between six and nine months with the injury, leaving Barca worryingly short of options.
AFP3 Rafinha tore his ACL and could now miss nine months of action
The news will come as a huge blow to Rafinha – and famous father Mazinho – who had been looking to take advantage of the midfielder's hot run of form, after he more than ably deputised for Lionel Messi during his injury break.
Mazinho recently revealed he could even try and get his son out of the Nou Camp, saying: “It's crazy.
“The truth is that we're trying to get Rafa into a situation where he plays regularly. We have to look for an exit.
“He needs a club to give him 30 or 40 games a season. It's been basically two years with hardly any game time.”
AP:Associated Press3 Sergi Roberto limped off injured at half-time with a muscle injury
MORE BARCELONA STORIESBUNCH OF FIVES Ryanair’s Black Friday sale has 25% off – with flights for under £5 one-way DIRTY MARTINI Barcelona tourists are drinking filthy cocktails containing human POO SPAIN LOCKDOWN Bomb scare closes stations in Madrid and Barcelona after 'devices' found XMAS PRESSIE? You can watch FC Barcelona in Spain with hotel and match tickets from £119pp HOT DAM Spend Xmas Day in Amsterdam or other European cities with flights & hotel from £119 CORK POPPING Bag a cheap New Year's Eve city break for 2018 – from £100 per person EURO GOGGLE BOX How can I watch La Liga and Serie A games at 3pm in the UK? GET OUTTA TOWN Cheaper alternative European city breaks to popular weekend destinations CATALONIA CLASHES Fourteen injured in Barcelona as cops clash with independence protestors COOL FOR CATALAN Savvy travellers can explore Barcelona on a budget in this trendy hostel BARCA BLOODBATH Machete-wielding thug stands over bleeding victim as ‘tourists’ walk by GET AWAY Book 2 nights in Barcelona or Lisbon from £69pp this autumn – incl flights & hotel