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Messi avoids further injury after PSG cameo

ESPN staff
April 11, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Lionel Messi will stick to his recovery plan, despite facing PSG on Wednesday © Getty Images
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Barcelona have said that Lionel Messi did not aggravate his thigh injury during the 33 minutes in which he helped drag them through to the Champions League semi-finals at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Messi came on as a substitute against Paris Saint-Germain with Barca trailing 1-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.

Although he was hampered by the injury, his presence appeared to calm his team-mates and unnerve PSG, and he quickly helped create the goal, scored by Pedro Rodriguez, which saw Barca through with a 1-1 draw.

Messi was back at the Camp Nou for more tests on Thursday, with the club later releasing a statement confirming that he was not yet 100% fit but that no further damage had been done against the Ligue 1 team.

"Leo Messi has undergone various medical tests this morning to determine if he had aggravated the injury in his right thigh," it said.

"The tests carried out have confirmed that the injury has not worsened, nor has there been any change. The player will continue with his established recovery programme, and the evolution of the injury will determine his availability for upcoming games."

The news makes Messi a doubt for Sunday's La Liga game at Real Zaragoza, but he should be available for the Champions League semi-final first leg on April 23 or 24.

Barca coach Tito Vilanova's concerns for that game now lie more in central defence, with Adriano suspended after picking up a booking on Wednesday night and Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano unlikely to be fit in time.

Marc Bartra, 22, who came on as a second-half substitute in both games against PSG looks likely to start next time.

A further worry for Vilanova is that Gerard Pique - currently Barca's only fit and experienced centre-half - is a booking away from suspension, as are left-back Jordi Alba and defensive cover Alex Song.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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