After missing out on an appearance for Argentina in midweek due to injury, Barcelona star Lionel Messi may also be sitting out the opening game of the La Liga season.
After missing his club’s game against a Malaysia XI, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner flew home from Rome in midweek to receive further treatment in Spain, as his national side coped well without him in victory over Italy. Messi owes his absence to a thigh strain he picked up whilst training with Barca on their pre-season tour of Malaysia.
Following on from the disappointment of missing the high-profile friendly, it appears Messi may also miss his first league game of the season.
Barcelona open the new season with a home game against Levante. The club have issued a statement on their website insisting that they will not take any risks by rushing Messi back into action before he is ready.
According to Sky Sports, the Argentinian has been using special rehabilitation exercises at the gym in the club’s Ciutat Esportiva training complex to help him recover from his injury.
Barcelona are rarely beaten by anyone at the Camp Nou, and in truth they should be able to cope against Levante without their star player, particularly considering the arrival of Brazilian superstar Neymar.
However, the Catalans face Atletico Madrid in the Copa Del Rey, and tricky La Liga away trips to Valenica, Malaga and Rayo Vallecano before the end of September.
In the face of a difficult run of matches, new Coach Gerardo Martino will be extremely concerned if Messi’s absence should stretch any further than this weekend.
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