Lionel Messi Injury: Updates on Barcelona Star's Ankle and Return

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2014

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 21:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during a UEFA Champions League Group F match between FC Barcelona and AFC Ajax at the Camp Nou Stadium on October 21, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Lionel Messi's under-par showing in Barcelona's recent Clasico loss to Real Madrid prompted reports in the Spanish media that he received pain-killing injections in his heel/ankle area prior to the game.

Latest Update from Tuesday, Oct. 28

Luis Enrique did not confirm nor deny rumours on Tuesday that Messi needed an injection to face Madrid. He did, however, insist the player was fit, per Marca:

As a coach, I always recommend and advise players against having painkilling injections, but it's the player's decision. You have to ask the doctors about medical issues: all I know is that Messi was fit.

Barcelona earlier denied that Messi was asked to play through injury at the Bernabeu, according to the Associated Press and via ESPN FC:

Barcelona said Messi did not receive infiltrations on Saturday.

In a statement, the club said Messi did not train with the squad on Monday, but that he had done "specific exercises" alongside striker Neymar and defenders Douglas and Thomas Vermaelen, while Andres Iniesta -- who injured a calf muscle during the match -- underwent physiotherapy.

Original Article from Monday, Oct. 27

Barcelona's Lionel Messi reportedly had to have an injection in his injured ankle in order to play in Saturday's 3-1 El Clasico loss to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

However, Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo (h/t Spanish football writer Dermot Corrigan) reports that the Argentinian superstar has no long-term fitness issues and will be fine to play against Celta Vigo in the weekend's upcoming La Liga clash:

Despite Barcelona opening the scoring against Madrid early on through Neymar, goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Karim Benzema saw Los Blancos claim a victory that lifts them just one point back from table-topping Barca.

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Messi had something of an off night against Real, as football writer Ryan Rosenblatt alluded to, and he may well have not been fully fit for the encounter:

However, the 27-year-old has been largely brilliant so far this season, scoring seven times and assisting seven in La Liga, per WhoScored.com, and boss Luis Enrique must be careful that the Argentina international does not push himself into a longer-term injury.

Although never a player who deserves to be left on the sideline, if he is not fully fit, it would likely be advantageous for him to be rested against Celta with Ajax coming up in the Champions League soon after.

Paul White/Associated Press

Saturday saw the first competitive action for Luis Suarez in a Barcelona shirt after his summer move from Liverpool and the end of his four-month biting suspension.

The Uruguayan had a largely positive debut, linking up well with Neymar for the goal, but the prospectively phenomenal union of the Brazilian, Suarez and Messi may take some time to fully come to fruition, per football journalist Cristian Nyari:

Messi's fitness will be key in making said trio work to its full potential given he is the most influential player in the Barca team.

If the Mundo Deportivo report is accurate, Barcelona have nothing to worry about concerning Messi as he should be back to full fitness by the weekend, and he will be looking to respond with an improved performance. 

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