Lionel Messi smiling
File photo of Lionel Messi (Source: REUTERS/Toru Hanai)

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi, who came back to training on Monday after playing the Copa America for Argentina, is reported to be injured, and will not travel to the United States of America as a part of the club’s pre season tour.

“First team player Leo Messi, who had returned from his summer break for training on Monday, withdrew from the session due to discomfort in his right leg. Tests carried out have diagnosed a Grade 1 calf strain for the Argentine,” a statement from Barcelona’s official website read.

“Messi will remain in Barcelona and will now not travel to the USA for the club’s tour. His availability to come back to action will be dictated by his recovery from the injury,” it further said.

While the timeline of the injury is yet unknown, it might take him at least a few weeks to gain match fitness after his late return to training.

Barcelona are set to play Athletic Bilbao on August 17 for their first match in LaLiga. The injury means that he might miss the season opener.

Barcelona are expected to earn around €5 million from the two games against Napoli according to Mudo Deportivo and Messi was obliged to play at least some part in those games.

But due to the injury, the five time Ballon d’Or winner will not be traveling with the team.

“I was keen to get started and unfortunately I had a setback in my first training session that is going to leave me out for a little while,” Messi wrote on Instagram. “I thank you for all your messages and your affection.

“I wanted to be with the team and the people who are following us in the USA. This time it cannot be, but we’ll see each other again soon. A hug to everyone.”

Football fans in USA are sure to be disappointed with the news that they are not going to witness one of the greatest players of all time in their city.