Lionel Messi
File photo of Lionel Messi

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi, who did not last at least a half in his first start of the season, is now confirmed to have elongated his left adductor.

The club confirmed in a statement saying, his recovery speed will determine when the forward will be playing his next match.

“First team player Leo Messi has elongated his left adductor. He is out and his recovery will determine his availability,” the statement read.

Tuesday’s match against Villareal saw Messi’s first start of the season, where he walked off near the half way mark in the match, and was later subbed off at half time. Barcelona were already two goals to the good when Messi left the field, with one of them laidd off  to by the Argentine to Antoine Griezmann in the sixth minute and the other being a 16th minute stunner by Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo.

Just before the half time whistle, Villarreal managed to pull one back, but Barca eventually hung onto to a 2-1 victory. The victory would settle the nerves at Barcelona, at least for the time being after a shocking loss away to Granada.

On Messi’s injury after the match, manager Ernesto Valverde said that it was only a precautionary measure.

“Messi only has minor discomfort in the adductor of his left leg, we didn’t want to risk it,” he had said. “In principle it’s just that.”

But Barcelona’s latest statement seems to suggest it could see him miss more than just one game. If that is really the case, the Catalans must pick themselves up and find ways of winning without their talisman. After all, his absence has now led to one of the worst starts in the club’s history, considering that they have failed to register a victory in the first seven away games in all competitions for the first time since 1985.

That is what manager Valverde and defender Pique felt, and wanted their team to do well in absence of the Argentine.

Barcelona will face Getafe in the league on Saturday before Inter Milan in the Champions League.