Messi eyeing Sunday return
Barcelona striker, Leo Messi suffered what looked like a devastating knee injury after falling and writhing on the ground following a challenge from Benfica goalkeeper, Artur Moraes, forcing the game to come to a halt with the Argentine being carted off in a stretcher.
- By Tom Conn Follow @TomConnISF
When Messi was carted off the pitch, the Camp Nou went quiet following Messi’s departure, unsure of reigning World Player of the Year’s status, on what could have been a historic night.
Following the match, Barcelona-based radio station, Radio Catalunya revealed that the injury was merely a knee bruise, which was later confirmed by Vilanova in his post-match press conference.
Inside Spanish Football has learned that the injury to Messi is not only minor, but the Argentine could return to action as early as this Sunday for their Round 15 tie against 4th place Real Betis.
The Argentine international will work apart from the team and do individualized exercises, before rejoining the group on Saturday morning, will he will test the knee and make a determination on whether he will be able to participate in Sunday’s match with Betis or if he will be sidelined until Wednesday’s Copa del Rey match against Cordoba.
Further tests will be run by the club’s medical staff tomorrow morning, but at the present time, it appears that Messi is still fully capable of scoring the two goals need to break former Bayern Munich and German international striker, Gerd Mueller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year.
Messi has 21 goals in domestic play this season and four games remaining in 2012, making it very likely that he will break Mueller’s record, something which didn’t seem possible immediately following Wednesday evening’s match.