With games taking place every three to four days leading up to the World Cup in November, the players' fitness levels have been tested to their limits. While Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen, Sergi Roberto, and Memphis Depay have all missed significant time due to injury for Barcelona in 2022/23, the team has struggled to find their rhythm.

The Blaugrana's poor performance in the UEFA Champions League was largely attributable to the unavailability of many important players, and as a result, the Catalan club was eliminated in the group stage for the second year in a row. However, Xavi's season has been hampered by injury concerns once again.

It looks like Barcelona's defense unit has taken some new injuries after their recent game. While the French and Spanish national teams wait for news, both Eric Garcia and then Jules Kounde were substituted out during Saturday's clash against Valencia.

How serious are Garcia and Kounde’s injuries and will they come back in time for the World Cup?

Although they won 1-0 at Mestalla against Valencia, Barcelona ended the game with Marcos Alonso and Gerard Pique in the center of defense after losing both of their starting central defenders to injury. A hip injury forced Eric Garcia to leave the game just before halftime.

Meanwhile, the Frenchman, who missed a number of games due to a hamstring injury, is now sidelined by a thigh strain. Barca coach Xavi Hernandez has claimed he did not see any major issues with the pair, but more information will be available following testing: "Kounde felt a strong discomfort, but it doesn't look like an injury. The same for Eric, who told me he's not injured, but we will see."

Barcelona have confirmed earlier that both players have strained muscles: Garcia in his left hip (external obturator) and Kounde in his left thigh (biceps femoris). The club have not announced a timetable for rehabilitation, but the Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo reports that they should not miss more than a week of action.

The midweek UEFA Champions League clash against Viktoria Plzen is a good opportunity to rest the duo as they will prepare to face Almeria in La Liga the following weekend. Thus, Kounde and Garcia are expected to have fully recovered in time for the World Cup. If you want to know how the 2022 Qatar may go, our World Cup Predictor will show you every possible scenario.