Lionel Messi’s management team has released a statement clarifying the truth around his recent injury problems and reported relationship breakdown with Barcelona's medical team.
The Argentinian forward’s season has been ravaged by persistent muscle problems in both thighs, and he is expected to recover away from the pitch during the rest of 2013.
As reported by Dermot Corrigan of ESPN, a statement released by "Leo Messi Management" looked to clarify the injury that arose after Barca’s victory over Real Betis:
This injury, although of the same type and to the same leg, is not related to any previous ones. From two days ago the medical services of Futbol Club Barcelona are treating him so that he can recover completely.
Conflicting reports in the Spanish press have dramatically complicated the situation.
Great emphasis has been placed on the promotion of Barca physio Juanjo Brau, who has treated Messi throughout his career, per Corrigan's article. Brau's recent promotion means he can no longer give the player so much of his focus.
Argentine medic Luis Garcia has travelled to take a look at the player, hinting at a measure of distrust between Messi's advisors and the Catalan club. Former Barca medic Jordi Ardevol recently told Esports Cope (via Goal.com) that Messi had been rushed back too quickly.
The statement from Messi's camp quickly clears up this issue and highlights Brau’s ascension through the Barca ranks, confirming Garcia’s presence is down to Messi’s involvement with the Argentinian national team:
Being a player of the Asociacion de Futbol Argentino [AFA], and having games programmed with the national team, the licensed kinesiologist Dr. Luis Garcia arrived yesterday in Barcelona to represent the national team, to monitor the injury, and to know the state and scope of the same ...
We want to deny completely the information published in some media, and confirm the comments of different club figures: Juanjo Brau, a great professional who has been close [to Messi] for a long period of time in recent years, no longer works day-to-day with Leo because FC Barcelona promoted him professionally.
Messi’s camp went on to confirm Barcelona’s medical staff will supervise his recovery as always, just like any other individual at the club, including the player’s trip home for Christmas.
The troubled star has still managed to post excellent stats for the season, despite scoring two goals in his last five games. Messi has 14 strikes in as many performances this campaign, recorded by WhoScored.com, crushing the claims of those who suggest he has posted a goal drought.
At 26 years of age, the four-time Ballon d'Or winner is entering an important part of his career.
He must focus on rehabilitation and regaining full fitness if he is to significantly strengthen La Blaugrana's defence of the La Liga throne, and indeed, Argentina's challenge for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
As much as it may disappoint his legion of fans, Messi's current recovery period may work wonders further down the line.