Barcelona will be without injured midfielder Ibrahim Affelay for the start of the Spanish league season.

The 25-year-old Netherlands international tore a muscle in his left thigh during the Catalan club's 2-1 friendly defeat to Manchester United in Washington, D.C. on Saturday. The European champion says Affelay will be out four to five weeks.

Barcelona's bid for a fourth straight league title begins at Malaga on Aug. 21.

Affelay will also miss both legs of the Spanish Supercup series against Real Madrid on Aug. 14 and 17.

Affelay, who pulled up clutching his leg in the 41st minute of the game at FedEx Field, had played in four preseason friendlies.