Medical tests on Barcelona's Lionel Messi reveal no serious injury
Messi was substituted at half-time with a suspected hamstring injury
Barcelona have confirmed on their official website that Lionel Messi did not suffer a serious injury that will sideline him for the long term. The club had feared the worst with Messi experienceing discomfort in his hamstring during Barcelona’s 6-0 thrashing of Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou. However, the club did not mention when he would be fit to return to the starting lineup.
Messi was surprisingly substituted at half-time with Arda Turan taking his place for the second half. At the time, the real reason was not known although it was reported that Luis Enrique had convinced Messi not to continue after he suffered a knock.
Sure enough, after the game, Enrique said in the press conference that the Argentine forward had a strain and they did not want to risk him. The Catalan club were already cruising at 2-0 with Bilbao down to 10 men after goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz was sent off for a tackle on Luis Suarez. Messi had opened the scoring when he slotted home the penalty in the seventh minute.
“Messi will have tests tomorrow, he has a small strain and had a little discomfort so we preferred not to take any risks,” Enrique said after the game. “We spoke about it at half-time and with the scoreline as it was we did not want to take risks. I don't like taking risks with any player, so imagine what it’s like with Messi.”
Nothing to worry about: Barca
Messi has already missed two months of the season after he suffered a tear in his medial collateral ligament in a match against Las Palmas in September. The club’s 28-year-old record goalscorer missed a major portion of the Champions League group stage matches and did not make a return to action until the 4-0 Clasico win over Real Madrid.
“Medical tests on striker Lionel Messi this Monday morning have revealed great news. It turns out that the Argentinian has not got a hamstring injury and has just taken a bit of a knock. It is uncertain whether or not he will be available for future matches, but there is nothing major to worry about.
“Messi was substituted by Arda Turan at half-time against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, after parading his fifth Ballon d’Or trophy to the fans before the match and scoring the penalty that opened the scoring in a 6-0 win.”
Messi has scored 10 goals for Barcelona in La Liga this season, well behind his teammates who form the trio of ‘MSN’. La Liga top scorer Luis Suarez has scored 18 with his latest hat-trick while Neymar has scored 16.