Barcelona sweat on Lionel Messi fitness

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Barcelona are sweating on the fitness of Lionel Messi, after the forward limped off against Paris Saint-Germain in their 2-2 Champions League draw last night.

The 25-year-old Argentine opened the scoring in the first period after a sublime pass from Dani Alves, but it was his last major act at the Parc des Princes as a hamstring problem forced him off at the interval.

Barca have since confirmed that tests will take place today (Wednesday) to confirm the extent of the problem, and manager Tito Vilanova will be hoping his superstar is fit for the return leg at the Nou Camp next week.

"He will undergo further tests on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury," read a Barcelona statement.

Javier Mascherano was also forced off through injury, and his right knee problem is a serious one, according to assistant coach Jordi Roura, who claims the combative Argentine will be out of action for ‘four to six weeks’.

"I think it was a typical quarter-final and a good result but we deserved better,” he said, according to the BBC.

"And it comes at a price because we have lost Messi as well as Mascherano."

Cesc Fabregas replaced Messi at the interval last night, and could be called upon to play in the ‘false nine’ position once again if the four-time Ballon d’Or winner fails to return to fitness.

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