Afellay ruled out of Barcelona’s opening fixtures of 2011-12

Barcelona’s Ibrahim Afellay has been ruled out of the first month of the season through injury.

The club has confirmed that the 25-year-old Dutch attacking winger has a torn thigh muscle and will now sit out the remainder of Barca’s pre-season, the Supercopa de Espana against Real Madrid, the UEFA Super Cup against Porto and the team’s first two League games against Malaga and Villarreal.

Former PSV Eindhoven man Afellay sustained the injury during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United and has now been given an estimated recovery time of four to five weeks.

This is the second injury blow to hit the Catalans during pre-season, with Afellay following on from Jonathan Soriano’s sprained cruciate ligament injury sustained against Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup that has ruled him out for a couple of months.

Afellay joined Barcelona during the winter break last season, making 16 appearances and scoring one goal in the second half of the season, including providing a notable assist for Lionel Messi in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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