SOCCER

Groin injury sidelines Leo Messi for three weeks, will miss World Cup qualifier

Barcelona striker taken off in second-half of 1-1 draw with Atlético Madrid

Messi last night at Barcelona's Camp Nou.
Messi last night at Barcelona's Camp Nou.ALBERT GEA / REUTERS

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Leo Messi’s lingering groin injury returned on Wednesday night during a home match against Atlético Madrid. After chasing a ball against Godín 14 minutes into the second half, the Barcelona star striker pulled up short, clearly in pain.

After sitting down on the pitch, the Barcelona medical team quickly came over to Messi and he was taken off.

Messi had traveled to Argentina to captain his national squad, despite his ongoing groin problem

Club sources later said that Messi will be out of commission for at least three weeks, confirming that a groin injury he had suffered in late August had flared up. The player will miss a Champions League match against Borussia Monchengladbach, as well as World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay.

“Losing Messi means that soccer loses and we all lose. Last year he was out for a longer period of time and the team was okay. We’re strong with Leo, but we’re also very strong without him,” said Barcelona coach Luis Enrique after the game.

On August 30, Messi traveled to Argentina to captain his national squad despite his ongoing groin problem, and against the advice of club doctors. He later admitted he was “very sore,” but still scored the winning goal in the World Cup qualifier 1-0 win against Uruguay. He missed Argentina’s game against Venezuela, and returned with a note from the Argentinean medical team advising caution.

English version by Nick Lyne

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