Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi will miss around three weeks of action after tearing a muscle in his groin against Atletico, the Catalan club confirmed Wednesday. Messi exited the La Liga match against Atletico after a challenge from Atletico’s Diego Godin left Messi unable to continue.
The leg injury has been a lingering issue for Messi, who missed time with both Barcelona and Argentina earlier this month with groin issues.
“To lose Messi means that football loses,” Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said after the 1-1 draw with Atletico. “With Messi we are stronger, but we will continue being strong.”
If the three-week timeline is upheld, Barcelona will be without Messi for a trio of domestic matches and their Champions League clash against Gladbach on Sept. 28th. Messi is also expected to miss out on Argentina’s World Cup qualifying matches against Peru and Paraguay on Oct. 6 and Oct. 11, respectively. Should the injury take longer than three weeks to fully heal, Messi could miss a La Liga match against Deportivo and Barcelona’s pivotal Champions League tilt against Manchester City on Oct. 19.
Barcelona certainly have the depth to weather Messi’s absence for a short period of time, particularly in La Liga. The likes of Luis Suarez, Neymar, Arda Turan and a host of other attacking options can help pick up the slack. But if the groin injury continues to flare up and Messi misses larger and larger chunks of time, it would undoubtedly be a major blow for their title hopes in all competitions.