The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has suffered a disrupted start to the new season, missing Barca‘s first four La Liga fixtures with a foot injury before finally making his first appearance against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
How bad is Messi’s latest injury? Five things to know…
- Messi scored 36 La Liga goals last season, sealing his third straight Golden Boot as Barca won the title.
- He suffered a foot injury in the summer, ruling him out of the first four games this term.
- Messi made his return against Dortmund but is now out again with an adductor problem.
- Valverde admits he doesn’t know when the Argentina international will return.
- Barca travel to Getafe on Saturday looking to close a four-point gap on La Liga leaders Real Madrid.
He then managed 45 minutes in the second half of the Blaugrana‘s shock 2-0 defeat to Granada before being forced off in their 2-1 win over Villarreal at the Nou Camp with an adductor problem.
And speaking to reporters ahead of Barca‘s clash with Getafe on Saturday, Valverde admitted he didn’t have a timescale for Messi‘s return.
“I don’t know how long he will be out,” he said. “We hope he will be with the team soon. It is not serious, it is a small strain and we will see next week how everything goes.
“If he is [playing] we have strengths and if he does not then we lack an absolutely decisive player. But we have resources to manage. It is a setback but we must continue.”
Even without Messi, Barcelona haven’t struggled to score goals so far this term, netting more times (14) than any other team in La Liga so far.
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It is their leaky defence which has contributed most to their stuttering start to the new La Liga campaign, conceding 10 goals so far – only Valencia have conceded more.
Barca have just three wins from their six games so far, leaving them four points behind early leaders and fierce rivals Real Madrid.