Barcelona says Dutch international midfielder Ibrahim Afellay will out for six months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left knee on Monday.

The 25-year-old Afellay had only played twice this season before sustaining the injury in practice last week.

The European champions have been hard hit by injuries this season, with midfielder Andres Iniesta, defender Eric Abidal and new signings Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez all currently sidelined.

Barcelona is in first place in the Spanish league.