Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has revealed that he replaced Lionel Messi as a precaution against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday evening.
As reported by Sky Sports, the Catalans boss has insisted that Messi only suffered a slight strain, but will now have to undergo tests.
Messi, who paraded his fifth Ballon d'Or to the Camp Nou faithful ahead of kick-off, opened the scoring after just three minutes of the encounter.
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And with Barcelona 2-0 up at half-time, Enrique didn't see any reason to risk his main man.
"We have to wait and see what the tests say, but it was a slight strain and we preferred not to risk it," Enrique said.
"We spoke and it didn't make any sense to risk it at 2-0 and with all that we have to come," added Enrique. "I don't like taking risks with any player, so imagine what it's like with Messi."
Despite Messi's removal at the interval, Barcelona went on to secure a thumping 6-0 victory over their La Liga counterparts as Neymar, Ivan Rakitic and three goals from Luis Suarez added to the Argentine's strike.
But Barcelona fans will now be hoping to see Messi return to action sooner rather than later. With an important Copa del Rey quarter-final clash against Bilbao on the horizon, it remains to be seen as to whether the superstar will be passed fit.
Of course, Barcelona will be without the suspended Luis Suarez for the clash at San Mames, so Messi will have a huge role to play. Barcelona will be hoping to emulate last year's success once again in 2016.
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