Club managers across Europe will be dreading bad news over the international break, and Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde will be no different.
With the Catalan giants still battling on three fronts between now and the end of the season, they’ll be desperate to get their squad back with as few injury issues as possible.
However, it might not be so simple for them and it will be particularly concerning that it’s Lionel Messi who has a potential problem.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the 30-year-old is suffering with muscle fatigue ahead of Argentina’s friendly against Italy in Manchester on Friday night, and so he has emerged as a doubt to feature.
Given the spectacle and an expectant crowd hoping to see him in action, it remains to be seen whether or not there is pressure on him to at least start the game and come off or to be introduced as a late substitute, but much will naturally depend on the severity of the problem.
As seen below, Messi looked in great form in training earlier this week having scored a wonder goal against the Argentine youth side, but it will be a completely different challenge against the Italians.
Messi’s incredible solo goal in Argentina training. Classic Messi. pic.twitter.com/NxXyxic9ZV
— Messi World (@MessiWorId) March 22, 2018
It’s suggested in the report from Mundo Deportivo that ultimately Messi will make the final decision as to whether he feels as though he can play, but having already racked up 43 appearances in all competitions this season, there will be a level of concern from a Barcelona perspective that he could do further damage to the issue.
With the La Liga title, Champions League and Copa del Rey still up for grabs, they’ll be desperate to see him come back with no lasting issue.