Witsel, who joined the Russian champions for 40 million
euros ($52.59 million) from Benfica just before the Sept. 3 transfer
deadline, has pulled a hamstring in training, a Zenit spokesman said on
Monday, Sept. 17.
Italy left back Domenico Criscito, Russia midfielder Sergei Semak and Portugal international Danny will also miss the Group C opener in Spain.
Zenit’s other high-profile acquisition, Brazil striker Hulk, is fit and should make his Champions League debut for the Russian club.