Messi out 7-8 weeks with knee ligament damage: Barcelona

AP , AFP , Saturday 26 Sep 2015

Lionel Messi
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, from Argentina, reacts after being injured, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Las Palmas at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 (Photo: AP)

Lionel Messi will be out for up to eight weeks after suffering knee ligament damage in Barcelona's 2-1 win over Las Palmas on Saturday, the Catalan giants confirmed.

"Tests have confirmed that Leo Messi suffered a torn internal collateral knee ligament. The estimated time out will be seven to eight weeks," Barcelona said in a statement.

Messi went down after colliding with Las Palmas defender Pedro Bigas in the third minute.

He writhed on the ground in front of the Las Palmas goal before play was stopped. Following medical attention, the Argentina star went back on, but two minutes later asked to be replaced after carefully trotting around and testing his leg with a pair of passes.

Messi walked off by himself as Munir El Haddadi replaced the four-time world player of the year in front of a quiet Camp Nou crowd of almost 75,000.

Messi was limited by a persistent series of hamstring injuries during 2013, but returned to his best form last season and scored 58 goals.

The 28-year-old Messi led Barcelona to a sweep of the Champions League, Spanish league and Copa del Rey titles last campaign.

He is the all-time highest scorer for Barcelona, and also has scored more goals in the Spanish league than anyone.

Barcelona have already lost midfielder Rafina to a ligament tear for an expected six months.

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