Soccer-Barca full back Alba out of Sociedad trip

Reuters

BARCELONA, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Barcelona full back Jordi Alba has failed to shrug off a thigh strain and will miss Saturday's La Liga match at Real Sociedad, the Spanish champions said on Friday.

The Spain international, who spent more than two months on the sidelines with a hamstring problem before Christmas, played in the 2-0 win at Manchester City in Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg.

However, tests conducted when the squad returned to the Catalan capital on Wednesday confirmed Alba's injury, representing a blow to coach Gerardo Martino at a critical stage of the season.

"The discomfort caused by the strain in the muscles at the back of the right thigh remains and therefore the player is rested as a precaution for the (Sociedad) match," Barca said on their website (www.fcbarcelona.es).

Barca, chasing a fifth La Liga title in six years, are joint top on 60 points with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid with 14 games left.

The Catalan club have two more La Liga games, at home to Almeria on March 2 and at Real Valladolid the following weekend, before they host City in the return leg on March 12. (Reporting by Iain Rogers; editing by Tony Jimenez)

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