Andres Iniesta was taken off on a stretcher during Barcelona’s 3-2 win over Valencia and will now miss the visit to Manchester in 10 days time to face Pep Guardiola’s City at the Etihad.
The club confirmed damage to external ligaments on his right knee and the player will have further tests on Sunday to ascertain the full extent of the injury.
There are fears he could be ruled for the remainder of Champions League group stage if the worst-case scenario is confirmed and the player has to sit out the next eight weeks of action.
Iniesta’s injury came after 14 minutes of the first half from Enzo Perez’ challenge. His standing right leg didn’t bend as Perez flew in and the Barcelona captain went down clutching his right knee and calling immediately for treatment from the sidelines.
Luis Enrique was furious with the challenge and the delay in a stretcher being brought on to carry Iniesta off the pitch. Perez was not booked for the tackle.
The injury further weakens Barcelona ahead of their remaining Champions League fixtures.
They are already likely to be without both Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba for the game at the Etihad Stadium.
He famously played the 2009 Champions League final against Manchester United under strict instructions not to shoot because he had still not properly recovered from injuring a right thigh muscle.
The injury comes as a major blow to Luis Enrique who would have to play former Manchester City youngster Denis Suarez or Andre Gomes in Iniesta’s place if Arda Turan does not recover from the elbow knock that kept him out of Barça’s 3-2 win over Valencia.