Updates from Thursday, Sept. 4
The Argentina national team doctor, Daniel Martínez, and others from the FCB Medical Services have evaluated the groin strain sustained by Leo Messi during last weekend’s league fixture away to Villarreal.
Both parties agreed that there have been considerable improvements, and the player will continue doing specific recovery exercises until he is ready to resume normal training with the rest of his team-mates.
Updates from Monday, Sept. 1
Lionel Messi will miss Argentina's forthcoming friendly with Germany, the team to whom they recently lost in the World Cup final.
Messi suffered a hip/groin problem during Barcelona's La Liga win over Villarreal, and Barcelona confirmed his withdrawal from the Argentina squad, via Fifa.com:
Leo Messi will remain in Barcelona as a precaution due to a strain in his right adductor.
Barça No10 will miss the match for peace in Rome this evening and will also not be able to participate in the match between Germany and Argentina.
That sound you hear is the entire Barcelona fanbase holding its collective breath. Superstar Lionel Messi, arguably the world's more irreplaceable player, is reportedly dealing with a hip injury.
According to Barcelona's official website, Messi "has pulled an adductor muscle in [his] right hip, and precautionary measures will be required."
The Argentinian played all 90 minutes against Villarreal Sunday, but this is obviously something worth paying attention to.
There's really no way to overstate Messi's importance. Capable of dazzling runs and clinical finishes, the 27-year-old has long been one of the most dangerous attacking options on the planet.
Even as he missed significant time last season with an injury, he remained one of the most prolific goalscorers in Spain, as Opta Sports noted:
20 - Lionel Messi has scored 20+ goals in each of the last six La Liga seasons, netting 28 times during 2013/14. Colossus. #Goal50— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 28, 2014
If Barcelona indeed takes "precautionary measures" with their superstar and Messi is forced to miss any time, the team's attacking depth becomes even thinner. Neymar is still returning to 100 percent fitness after his World Cup injury, and new signing Luis Suarez remains suspended.
The Catalans will surely be able to tread water until they get back to 100 percent up front, but this is something they never want to see. The hope is obviously that this doesn't turn into anything serious like during the 2013-14 campaign, or else returning to the top of La Liga just got a lot more difficult.