As one superstar emerges from the treatment room another heads into it, such is life at the Nou Camp. The pre-season question in Barcelona was: how would Frank Rijkaard juggle Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto'o, Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi? In the event, all four have rarely been fit together and the return of Eto'o from a thigh injury has coincided with Henry suffering a back problem.
Eto'o is likely to be on the bench tomorrow, probably alongside another superstar, Ronaldinho, as Bara, at home to Deportivo La Coruña, seek to cut Real Madrid's lead. Real visit Athletic Bilbao tonight with Julio Baptista again expected to fill in for Wes Sneijder.
Villarreal, level second with Bara, tomorrow host Real Betis who have put the reserve team coach, Paco Chaparro, in charge after sacking Hector Cuper. "The first thing we have to do is to rebuild team morale," said Chaparro. "After such a bad run, things can only get better."
In Serie A, Internazionale may give Marco Materazzi his first start of the season at home to Torino tomorrow in the wake of Walter Samuel's suspension. Still in Inter's A-list treatment room are Patrick Vieira, Luis Figo, Dejan Stefanovic and Francesco Toldo while Olivier Dacourt has been told his season is over.
All these injuries have not stopped the defending champions building a three-point lead over Roma who hope Francesco Totti can play the full 90 minutes at Livorno tomorrow. Juventus, eight points adrift of Inter in third, host Atalanta.
The Bundesliga leaders, Bayern Munich, hope to feature Bastien Schweinsteiger at home to MSV Duisberg today. Werder Bremen, a point behind, are at Hannover '96 while third-placed Hamburg host Energie Cottbus.Reuse content