Marquez, Puyol injuries leave Barca stretched at the back

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MADRID, Oct 3 (Reuters) Centre-backs Rafael Marquez and Carles Puyol have joined Barcelona's lengthening list of injured defenders after hobbling off the pitch during their side's 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart in the Champions League.

Mexico international Marquez has a suspected muscle tear in his right calf and club captain Puyol has suffered a strain in the same area.

''Puyol has received a hard knock, but that can happen to anyone and it doesn't look to be a muscular problem,'' Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard said yesterday after the game.

''Rafa's injury is a different matter and we will just have to wait for the test results.'' 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,'' said Rijkaard.

REUTERS BJR RN1512

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