Injured Lionel Messi Will Miss Friendly against Russia

Richard MesquitaContributor IAugust 12, 2009

SHANGHAI, CHINA - AUGUST 16:  Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates the first goal during the Men's Quarter Final match between Argentina and Netherlands at Shanghai Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Photogamma/Getty Images)

Can things get any worse for Maradona?

After a poor showing in the last few qualifying games, losing 6-1 to a weak Bolivian side, a 2-0 loss to Ecuador, and just squeaking by with a marginal victory over Colombia, Maradona is desperate to win back the confidence of its fans, and at the same time, instill confidence in its players.

Losing Lionel Messi will not make things any easier.

After yesterday’s training session, Messi felt a "twinge" in his right leg. He was taken to the training room where he was examined by both Argentine and Barcelona doctors, alike.

Messi will be undergoing a series of tests to determine the extent of the injury. Needless to say, Maradona is extremely worried with more qualifying games just around the corner.

Taking Messi’s place in the lineup is Inter striker Diego Milito. 

Argentina's confirmed lineup: Mariano Andújar (Catania-Ita), Javier Zanetti (Inter-Ita), Nicolás Burdisso (Inter-Ita), Nicolás Otamendi (Vélez Sarsfield), Gabriel Heinze (Olympique Marseille-Fra); Maximiliano Rodríguez (Atlético Madrid-Esp), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool, Eng), Mario Bolatti (Huracán), Jonás Gutiérrez (Newcastle, Eng); Sergio Agüero (Atlético Madrid-Esp), and Diego Milito (Inter-Ita).