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BARCELONA

Messi travels for international duty despite injury doubts

The Argentine ended Barcelona’s win over Athletic Bilbao in discomfort and underwent tests at the club’s medical facility on Monday morning.

Messi travels for international duty despite injury doubts
VINCENT WEST REUTERS

Lionel Messi will travel to Argentina for international duty this evening despite undergoing precautionary medical tests with club doctors in Barcelona this morning. He ended Sunday night’s hard-fought win over Athletic Bilbao with discomfort in his leg and was at one point during the game seen to stop and reach down to his leg in pain.

Lionel Messi in the thick of things during Barcelona's 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday night.

A statement released by the club this afternoon confirmed that Messi did discuss his condition with medical staff before travelling: “The tests conducted this morning confirmed that Leo Messi has a mild strain in his left abductor muscle. The medical report has been shared with the Argentinian FA. The player will join up with the squad and his participation in the scheduled matches will depend on how the strain develops.”

Argentina have two important 2018 World Cup qualifiers coming up this week. The Albiceleste will first face Uruguay on Thursday night before matching up against Venezuela the following Tuesday. The expectation is that Messi will be fully fit to play, though his involvement is no longer a guarantee.