The Barca star could be out for the Champions League opener after missing the start to the La Liga campaign
Lionel Messi could miss Barcelona’s first Champions League game of the season according to his manager Ernesto Valverde.
Last season’s semi-finalists will be looking to get their new European campaign off to a good start, but face a tricky trip to Borussia Dortmund for which they could be without their star man.
Messi missed Argentina’s recent friendlies, including the impressive 4-0 victory against Mexico, as well as the start to Barca’s league campaign.
He’s also already ruled out of Saturday’s La Liga meeting with Valencia at Camp Nou.
“I am not a doctor but it seems that the scar was opened a little and that made us more cautious,” Valverde said in his pre-match press conference.
“In terms of him being able to return, I don’t know if it will be Tuesday or maybe later. I don’t want to say anything to lower expectations, but I find it difficult for Tuesday.”
Barca have only won one of the three La Liga games they have played this so far season, losing away to Athletic Bilbao in their opening fixture and only managing a draw at Osasuna before the international break.
They will be looking forward to another home game to build on a 5-2 win against Real Betis in their last match at Camp Nou, and Valverde has been looking for other players to step up.
“Leo’s loss has been always noticeable, but there are other players who must step forward,” he added.
“Antoine [Griezmann] has already scored a couple of goals, and we hope he has been able to continue.
“There have been times when [Messi] has not been available and we have kept going.
“When he had that problem with his arm [last season], the team responded well. We want him to return soon, but also to return well.”
Messi himself has commented on the injury in a recent interview, suggesting he will definitely be back for the game against Granada on September 21.
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“I’m still training on my own,” he told Sport on Thursday.
“I don’t have a fixed return date yet. I’m doing tests and when I’m 100% recovered, I’ll be ready to play.
“I won’t play against Valencia but we’ll see if I return against Dortmund or Granada.”