Barcelona are refusing to name a return date for Samuel Umtiti amid reports the defender is set for a long-term layoff.
Umtiti has not featured for Barça since their 2-1 defeat to Leganés on September 26 due to a problem with the cartilage in his left knee.
According to Diario Sport, the club are considering surgery to fix the issue with the defender not responding well to initial treatment.
However, sources at the Catalan club have told ESPN FC “nothing has changed” from when they first discovered the injury.
It’s understood that Umtiti will return to action in the new year but surgery could extend this timeline.
Valverde has been forced to stick with Gerard Pique, who has played every game so far this season despite making some high profile mistakes.