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Sergio Busquets injury: Barcelona midfielder stretchered off in first half against Villarreal

The influential midfielder was caught by a late tackle from Villarreal's Tomás Pina.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona could be facing a major problem after their midfield anchor Sergio Busquets was stretchered off late in the first half of their Copa del Rey semifinal second leg tie against Villarreal. Busquets was caught by a late tackle from Tomás Pina, appearing to injure the Barca player's ankle or lower leg.

Busquets was taken right off the field via stretcher, and Jose Enrique wasted no time bringing in Jeremy Mathieu in his place.

At full speed and on subsequent TV replays, it looked very, very bad, but it's too early to speculate on the extent of the injury. If it were to be serious and keep Busquets sidelined for an extended period, it's a massive blow to Barcelona.

Javier Mascherano can play in the defensive midfield role occupied by Busquets, but he lacks the creativity and flair of the Spaniard. Busquets is the often under-appreciated glue who makes the Barca midfield work, and trying to compete in the Champions League, while chasing Real Madrid in La Liga, would be a big challenge without him.