Messi out for three weeks
Barcelona star Lionel Messi is set to spend up to three weeks on the sidelines with an ankle sprain.
Last Updated: 20/09/10 8:53am
Barcelona star Lionel Messi is set to spend up to three weeks on the sidelines with an ankle sprain, the club have confirmed.
The Argentina international was stretchered off in the closing stages of Barcelona's 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid on Sunday following a late tackle by Tomas Ujfalusi.
The former Czech Republic international received his second yellow card for the foul and Messi appeared in agony as he was carried off the field of play.
But Barca said in a statement on their official website that the World Player of the Year had sprained the external ligament in his right ankle but there was no bone damage.
The injury is not as bad as first feared but the 23-year-old will nonetheless miss games against Sporting Gijon, Real Mallorca and Athletic Bilbao on top of the UEFA Champions League trip to Rubin Kazan.
"We are happy with the win but sad about Messi," said Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola moments after the full-time whistle.
"The TV pictures speak for themselves. It is not only Cristiano Ronaldo [of Real Madrid] who needs protecting. The referees should protect all the players."
Earlier in the game, Messi had opened the scoring for the Catalan giants before assisting Gerard Pique for Barcelona's second.
The Argentine will undergo further tests on his injury on Monday.