After picking up a thigh injury in Wednesday night's Supercopa clash with Atlético Madrid, Lionel Messi will not play against Malaga on Sunday night.

The star of world football netted his first two goals of the season in his side's 7-0 opening day win over Levante at the Camp Nou. He will now have to wait another week to add to that tally after being ruled out for this weekend's trip.

A statement on the Barcelona website said: "Leo Messi, who is still recovering from bruising to his left thigh, will not make the trip down to Malaga."

His progress is said to be good, but he has been left out as a precaution. He will stay in Barcelona over the weekend to receive further treatment at the Ciutat Esportiva.

Messi's absence could mean a first start for summer signing Neymar, who netted his first competitive Barcelona goal in Madrid midweek after coming off the bench.

Coach Martino put his confidence in Barcelona's other squad members, saying: "To have or not have the best player in the world with you makes it a different game. But we have a lot of very good players to play a good match and the absence of Messi shouldn't give us any excuse."

Barcelona's next matches are against Atlético in the Camp Nou return leg of the Supercoppa this coming Wednesday, before a trip to Valencia on the Sunday. It is hoped that Messi's absence in the Malaga match may allow to be fit for those following two games.

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