Lionel Messi Injury: Updates on Barcelona Star's Knee

Tim KeeneyContributor IDecember 5, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 05:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona leaves the pitch on a stretcher after being injured during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between FC Barcelona and SL Benfica at Nou Camp on December 5, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

World football fans everywhere, it's time to hold your breath: All-planet star Lionel Messi left Wednesday's Champions League match against Benfica with a knee injury and was unable to return.

UPDATE: Saturday, December 8 at 9:41 a.m. ET

Surprising news as Lionel Messi (knee) will be active for Barcelona's matchup tomorrow, according to TSN's Staff.

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova says Lionel Messi has recovered from a bruise to his left knee and has included the forward in his squad for the Spanish league game at Real Betis.

Messi had to be carried off the pitch after a late collision with the opposing goalkeeper in Barcelona's 0-0 draw against Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Vilanova says Messi 'feels well, he isn't bothered (by the knee). If he is travelling it's because he's in condition to play' in Sunday's match.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Thursday, December 6 at 9:35 a.m. ET

Lionel Messi initially thought his career might be over when he suffered a knee injury yesterday, according to The Guardian's Staff.

Lionel Messi says that his injured knee feels much better despite fearing the worst when he collided with the Benfica goalkeeper Artur duringBarcelona's 0-0 draw with the Portuguese side in the Champions League on Wednesday night...

The Barcelona forward says he could miss Sunday's league match at Real Betis, but had originally thought his career was in jeopardy.

'I sincerely thought it was the last ball I would be touching for a long time because of the pain,' Messi said. 'I tried to go ahead and shoot but I didn't have the strength.'

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 7:15 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney

It's official. Messi has just a bone bruise and has avoided any serious damage (via Barcelona's official Twitter account):

Tests confirm that Leo Messi has a bruised bone on the outside of his left knee. #FCBLive

— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 6, 2012

---End of update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 6:37 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

According to Guillem Balague, Messi only suffered a knock on Wednesday:

Official now: club says Messi only has a knock and his evolution will dictate his inclusion in the next squad

— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) December 5, 2012

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 5:50 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney

Barcelona' official Twitter account came through with some extremely encouraging news:

Messi has a bruise on the outside of his left knee. He'll undergo further tests to determine the exact extent of the injury. #FCBLive

— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 5, 2012

---End of update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 5:25 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney

It appears as though Barcelona might have dodged a huge bullet (via Guillem Balague):

Messi: Good news it seems. Not official but players are leaving the stadium thinking it's only a knock.Tests only to confirm that's the case

— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) December 5, 2012

---End of update---

FC Barcelona's official Twitter account has the news:

Min 86: Messi is being carted off the pitch, as of right now he can't continue. #FCBLive

— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 5, 2012

Here's a look at the challenge that injured him (via Ives Galarcep of Soccer By Ives):

The challenge that injured Messi:…

— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) December 5, 2012

While you obviously never want to see anyone get hurt, most fans would probably agree that Messi is the one player they don't want to have a break from watching. Not only is this a potentially crippling injury for Barcelona (although they are certainly the team that has the stars to pick up the slack in Messi's stead), but it's also potentially crippling for football itself. 

The severity of the injury, which the Argentine suffered after coming on as a sub in the 58th minute, is still unknown, but according to Galarcep, it looked serious:

Based on the contact, & what he reached for, going to say Messi has a left MCL injury. Hopefully just a sprain. Would bet money on left MCL

— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) December 5, 2012

Still, it's important to note that is all speculation and we won't jump to any conclusions until an official word is given on how grim—if at all—the injury actually is. 

Nevertheless, this is a hard one to swallow. 

Many will jump to criticize Tito Vilanova for playing the star in what was a meaningless match for Barca, but when it comes down to it, these types of things can happen on any given day the men take the pitch.

There's simply no avoiding it. 

With just 26 days left in December, Messi has currently scored 84 goals in the calender year, which puts him just one behind Gerd Muller, who set the record in 1972. 

We'll be sure to keep you updated as more becomes known regarding this unfortunate injury.