By Chris Wright
(video via 101GG)
Barcelona are optimistic that Lionel Messi hasn’t suffered a broken ankle (as was first thought) after being injured during their 2-1 Primera Division win over Atletico Madrid last night.
Messi was hauled off the pitch on a stretcher after a challenge from Atletico defender Thomas Ufjalusi (who received a fairly harsh red card for his part in the incident) left the agonised winger in tears on the turf of the Vicente Calderon stadium.
Messi will undergo more scans this morning to determine the full extent of the injury but, according to Barca’s official website, all of the preliminary tests seem to suggest that the Argentinian star has ‘only’ suffered ligament damage – rather than a fracture.
Barca coach Pep Guardiola said after the match;
“He’ll be having more tests tomorrow, but in principle a break has been ruled out. He’s injured and the doctors will tell us how he is. Let’s hope the first diagnosis is correct and we can help get him fit again. He’s very sad and in tears. These things happen in football.”
UPDATE: Barcelona have confirmed that Messi will definitely miss their next two games, against Sporting Gijon on Wednesday and Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, and then return to light non-contact training.