Barca defender Marquez out for a month

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MADRID, Oct 3 (Reuters) Barcelona centre-back Rafael Marquez will be out of action for around month after tearing a muscle in the lower part of his right leg, club doctors said today.

The Mexican international was forced to leave the pitch seven minutes into his side's 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart in the Champions League yesterday.

However, medical staff were more optimistic about club captain Carles Puyol who also left the pitch with a similar injury.

''He has strained his left calf but everything suggests he will be ready to play on Sunday,'' said a statement on the club's Web site (www.fcbarcelona.com).

With holding midfielder Yaya Toure and defenders Gabriel Milito, Gianluca Zambrotta and Edmilson already on the treatment table, Barcelona will be stretched to the limit at the back for this weekend's league match at home to Atletico Madrid.

''The injuries to Marquez and Toure mean we will have to come up with something different for the next game,'' Rijkaard told reporters after the match against Stuttgart.

REUTERS BJR BD1905

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