Messi out of derby clash
Barcelona have been dealt a blow with the news that Lionel Messi is out of Saturday's derby against Espanyol.
Last Updated: 10/12/09 10:35pm
Barcelona have been dealt a blow with the news that star forward Lionel Messi is out of Saturday's derby against Espanyol.
The Argentinian wizard has been ruled out with an ankle sprain sustained in Wednesday night's 2-1 UEFA Champions League win at Dynamo Kiev.
The 22-year-old Ballon d'Or winner had just netted the decisive goal from a stunning free-kick when he suffered the injury in a crunching challenge from Brazilian defender Leandro Almeida.
He then hobbled from the field at the final whistle and tests have confirmed he will miss the Primera Liga clash with Espanyol, which is being shown live on Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD3 at 7pm.
A statement on the club's official website said: "Messi has been evaluated and it has been confirmed this afternoon that he has a grade II sprain to his right ankle.
"He is out for Saturday's game."
The injury will now be assessed before a decision is made on his availability for the Fifa Club World Cup semi-final against either Auckland City or Atlante next Wednesday.
Pep Guardiola's side go into this weekend's clash with Espanyol at Camp Nou five points clear of arch rivals Real Madrid at the top.