Madrid, Aug 16 IANS | 4 months ago

FC Barcelona will kick off the season without new signing Ter Stegen after the goalkeeper from Borussia Monchengladbach picked up a back injury that will keep him out of action for two or three weeks.

That means Stegen, who has so far performed well in Barca's pre-season friendly matches where he has enjoyed just 135 minutes of action, will miss the first game of the campaign which sees Barca entertain Elche Aug 24, reports Xinhua.

He is also in doubt for what could be a tricky visit to take on Villarreal a week later.

Stegen has a small fissure on his third vertebrae, which is an injury similar to that suffered by his teammate Neymar during the World Cup finals.

The absence of the German will now open the door for former Real Sociedad goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to stake his claim to be first choice for Barca coach Luis Enrique.

The Chile international was at fault for the goal that saw Barca lose a warm-up game against Napoli 10 days ago, but his long experience in Spain means he is a safe pair of hands to the club to confide in. Speaking on Catalan radio Friday night, Bravo insisted that one error had not damaged his confidence.

"I had only been training for a week and it was a friendly game," he said of his error. "I am training hard and trying to continue improving."

Bravo also highlighted that Barca coach Luis Enrique had asked for him to be brought to the club.

"That is a boost to my confidence and although I was the second goalkeeper to be signed this summer I always think I am going to play," he said.

(Posted on 16-08-2014)

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