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Barcelona have been rocked by the news Lionel Messi is facing up to eight weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
The Argentina playmaker limped out of Barca’s 4-1 win over Real Betis on Sunday evening and scans on Monday have revealed the full extent of the damage.
Messi could be absent for two months and although Barca have already qualified for the group stages of the Champions League, he will still miss some crucial La Liga matches.
The world player of the year will also miss Argentina’s upcoming international friendlies against Ecuador and Bosnia.
A statement on the club’s website read: “According to the club’s medical services, the tests taken on Monday morning by Leo Messi have confirmed that the player has suffered a torn muscle in the femoral biceps of his left leg.
“The approximate time he will be out is between six and eight weeks.
“The first part of his recovery will take place in Barcelona and the second in Buenos Aires.”
Messi has a history of hamstring problems and Barca will be praying this latest setback does not drag on for longer than expected.
Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas has also been forced to pull out of the Spain squad for their games against Equatorial Guinea and South Africa.
Fabregas picked up a slight knee injury against Betis and Spain boss Vicente del Bosque says the midfielder will be rested for both games.