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Lionel Messi to miss up to three weeks with injury

Sep 29, 2013, 7:36 AM EST

Barcelona's Leo Messi is replaced by Xavi Hernandez during their soccer match against Almeria in Almeria Reuters

Barcelona icon Lionel Messi has been ruled out for two to three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury against Almeria Saturday in La Liga play.

The club released a statement this morning saying, “tests this morning have confirmed a small injury to the fibrillar biceps femoris of the right leg.”

He was officially ruled out of his team’s fixtures this week, Tuesday against Celtic in the Champions League and this weekend at home against Valladolid in La Liga.

The timeframe would lend itself to a possible return after the international break, either in their La Liga fixture at Osasuna on October 19 or against AC Milan in the Champions League October 22.

At the moment, it would appear – barring any setbacks – the worst-case scenario for his return would be El Clasico against Real Madrid at the Nou Camp on October 26.

The team would not confirm exactly what the injury is to the muscle, but given the length it lends itself to most likely a medium-grade strain.

One would assume he will also not feature in Argentina’s final two World Cup qualifiers in the upcoming international break, with his country having already clinched a spot in Brazil 2014.

It is the same hamstring – the right side – that the 26-year-old suffered late last season that left him struggling to stay on the pitch in their 7-0 aggregate Champions League drubbing against eventual champions Bayern Munich.  The injury also left him unable to train in the offseason.

Barcelona have won all seven of their opening fixtures so far, a club record start to the season.  Messi has eight goals in those seven matches.

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