Messi's injury setbacks

By Drum Digital
11 November 2013

Four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi had to be withdrawn due to injury for the third time this season after just 20 minutes of Barcelona's clash with Real Betis.

Four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi had to be withdrawn due to injury for the third time this season after just 20 minutes of Barcelona's clash with Real Betis on Sunday.

Messi pulled up as he tried to accelerate with the ball at his feet before being replaced by Andres Iniesta.

"A muscle injury in the hamstring of the left leg. More tests will be carried out on Monday to discover the exact extent of the injury," said a statement on the club's official Twitter account.

The 26-year-old is now expected to miss Argentina's friendlies against Ecuador and Bosnia-Herzegovina later this month.

Messi has suffered from a series of muscular problems since pulling a hamstring against Paris Saint-Germain back in April.

He returned from that injury just 10 days later to help Barca past the French champions and into the semi-finals of the Champions League.

However, his season was ended by a recurrence of the injury against Atletico Madrid in May.

The Argentine was also substituted with a hamstring problem against Atletico in August and pulled up with a thigh problem in Barca's win over Almeria at the end of September.

Messi has failed to score in La Liga since returning from that injury, marking his longest run without a league goal in over two years.

However, he had appeared to have returned to form when he scored twice in Barca's 3-1 win over AC Milan in midweek.

- SAPA

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