Sport Soccer

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Messi sidelined for eight weeks with hamstring tear

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (R) is challenged by Real Betis' Jose Antonio Caro during their Spanish First Division soccer match at Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville yesterday
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (R) is challenged by Real Betis' Jose Antonio Caro during their Spanish First Division soccer match at Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville yesterday
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) is congratulated by team mate Cesc Fabregas after scoring his second goal against AC Milan during their Champions League soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona last week
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) is seen after being replaced during their Spanish First Division soccer match against Real Betis at Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville yesterday

BARCELONA forward Lionel Messi will be out for between six and eight weeks with a hamstring injury, the La Liga leaders revealed this afternoon.

The Argentine suffered a muscle tear in his left hamstring during Barca's 4-1 La Liga win at Real Betis yesterday.

The World Player of the Year was substituted during the first half after pulling up following a sprint for possession. It was his 16th game of the season in which he has scored 14 goals.

It was also the third thigh injury of the season for a player renowned under former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola for his ability to avoid injury, despite being the focal point of Barcelona's famed tiki-taka, one-touch football.

Barcelona said on their website the first stage of Messi's recovery would be in the Catalan city before he travelled to Buenos Aires.

The 26-year-old will miss the final two matches in the Champions League group stage for Barcelona, against Ajax Amsterdam and Celtic. Barca have already qualified for the last 16 which takes place in late February.

Barcelona lead La Liga by three points from Atletico Madrid and six from arch-rivals Real Madrid. Barca are due to play Atletico in Madrid on January 12 but have games against lesser opponents before then.

Messi will also miss Argentina's friendlies against Ecuador, on November 15, and Bosnia, on November 18.

Reuters

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