Messi’s home­com­ing in jeop­ardy due to in­jury

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

LIONEL Messi’s re­turn to in­ter­na­tional duty with Ar­gentina could be de­layed by a groin in­jury his club side Barcelona stated ear­lier this week.

Messi was set to re­turn for the two-time world cham­pi­ons’ World Cup qual­i­fiers against Uruguay and Venezuela af­ter re­vers­ing his shock de­ci­sion to re­tire from in­ter­na­tional foot­ball in June.

“The player will travel to Ar­gentina to join his na­tional team and the de­vel­op­ment of the pain [he is suf­fer­ing] will de­ter­mine his avail­abil­ity for the sched­uled matches,” Barca said in a state­ment.

Ar­gentina have al­ready suf­fered a dou­ble in­jury blow as Ser­gio Aguero and Javier Pa­s­tore pulled out of the squad on Au­gust 29.

Aguero in­jured him­self in Manch­ester City’s 3-1 vic­tory against West Ham at the week­end. He has pulled a mus­cle in his left calf, ac­cord­ing to the Ar­gen­tine fed­er­a­tion’s med­i­cal staff.

Paris Saint-Ger­main’s at­tack­ing mid­fielder Pa­s­tore also misses out due to a torn right calf mus­cle.

Messi had an­nounced his in­ter­na­tional re­tire­ment af­ter Ar­gentina lost in the Copa Amer­ica Cen­te­nario fi­nal against Chile on penal­ties, Messi cru­cially missing his penalty in the shoot-out.

It was the third time Messi’s Ar­gentina had lost a ma­jor fi­nal in three years af­ter a 1-0 World Cup fi­nal de­feat to Ger­many in 2014 and an­other penalty shootout re­verse to Chile in the 2015 Copa Amer­ica.

The five-time World Player of the Year re­versed his de­ci­sion three weeks ago af­ter new Ar­gentina man­ager Edgardo Bauza payed him a visit in Spain to change his mind.

Ar­gentina host Uruguay in Mendoza on Thurs­day be­fore trav­el­ling to face Venezuela in a sec­ond World Cup qual­i­fier on Septem­ber 6.

Ar­gentina sit third out of 10 teams in South Amer­i­can qual­i­fy­ing af­ter six of 18 rounds of matches. The top four au­to­mat­i­cally qual­ify for the World Cup in Rus­sia. –

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