Barcelona have confirmed that Lionel Messi’s groin injury has persisted, but set no timetable for his return to action.
The Catalan club had noted the injury before Messi’s return to Argentina for their World Cup qualifying win against Uruguay on Thursday.
Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza said last week that there was no reason to risk Messi for Tuesday’s match against Venezuela and he is now unlikely to feature for Barcelona against Alaves this weekend.
The club statement said: “Tests conducted today on first team player Leo Messi have confirmed that the discomfort in his left adductor muscle persists.
“It’s advised he lowers the burden of training in the coming days and the evolution of the injury will mark his availability to return to action.”
Messi himself posted a message of reassurance to his fans via his Facebook account on Monday, saying: “Everything is fine, I have to slow things down as I recover with physio, but it’s nothing to worry about. Thanks to you all for your support.”
Messi, who scored the Albiceleste’s only goal in a 1-0 victory against Uruguay, admitted that the injury was bothering him last week.
The AFA medical report said: “The captain of the national team is suffering from inguinocrural pain. As a result, he will not participate in the next World Cup qualifying match.
“This morning, Lionel Messi underwent medical and kinesiological treatment for the groin and thigh pain. It is recommended that he continue to rest from activity and will not play against Venezuela.”
Messi made his return following a brief international retirement despite the injury, which Barcelona duly noted before the international break.
Meanwhile, Andres Iniesta said he is making good progress in recovering from the knee injury he suffered in the Spanish Super Cup.
“My knee is getting better and I hope that that will continue over the next few days,” he told Cadena SER.
Following Saturday’s La Liga game against Alaves, Barcelona open their Champions League campaign against Celtic on Tuesday.