Messi Out for 6 – 8 Weeks

Lionel Messi has been ruled out for the next six to eight weeks with a hamstring tear, Barcelona have revealed.

The Argentina forward was forced off after less than half an hour of Sunday’s match against Real Betis after pulling up with a muscle problem in his left leg.

The Spanish club announced the news via its Twitter feed on Monday following scans. Messi will miss his country’s forthcoming friendlies with Ecuador and Bosnia–Herzegovina because of the problem.

A Barça statement read: “According to the club’s medical services, the tests taken on Monday morning by Leo Messi have confirmed that the player has suffered a torn muscle in the femoral biceps of his left leg. The approximate time he will be out is between six and eight weeks. The first part of his recovery will take place in Barcelona and the second in Buenos Aires.”

Barça are also due to check on Cesc Fábregas after the midfielder was also replaced, despite scoring twice in the 4-1 win, with a knee problem.

After the game Fábregas said: “I had already felt something against Milan. I started well today, but felt something again so I preferred to stop. I had an injury there three years ago.”

If Messi is not available again before the end of the year, he would sit out four Primera Division matches, the Champions League matches against Ajax and Celtic, and both legs of the Copa del Rey last-32 tie against Segunda División B side Cartagena.

The world player of the year, 26, has suffered from hamstring issues in the past, including twice already this season having also damaged the left one in the first leg of the Spanish Super Copa and then the right one at the end of September. He was out of action for a week the first time and for three weeks the second.

Fábregas, who experienced similar problems while at Arsenal, has urged Messi not to try to rush his recovery.

“He needs to take as much time as he needs, to recover and get back to his level. We need him at his best,” he said. “I had something similar at Arsenal. You think you’re OK, but you’re not.

“I had this injury, I wasn’t right for up to a year and half, it’s a really frustrating injury. You need to take whatever time you need because if you don’t it won’t heal properly,” he told Canal Plus.

Fábregas picked up a knee injury in the victory over Betis and will be sidelined for seven days.

He will be replaced in the Spain squad for the friendlies against Equatorial Guinea and South Africa by his Barcelona team-mate Marc Bartra.

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