Initial reports are suggesting the injury Barcelona's Lionel Messi sustained against Benfica tonight is not serious.
The 25-year-old had to be stretchered off after encountering the problem in the latter stages of of Barca’s 0-0 Champions League draw at Camp Nou.
The Catalan club have used their official twitter account to announce that Messi has ‘a bruise on his left knee’ and will ‘undergo further tests.’
“It’s not nice to see Messi going off on a stretcher,” sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta told Canal Plus shortly after full time. “We’ll have to wait and see what the doctors say.”
Even if Messi’s injury is not a long term one it could endanger his chances of breaking Gerd Muller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year.
“Tito [Vilanova] is the one who manages the resources we have,” Zubizarreta continued. “We move on through the headlines, the record is a consequence. When the team is playing these things can happen.”
The game itself was a fairly uneventful affair, Barca’s reserves and youngsters failing to impose themselves on a Benfica side who agonisingly missed out on last 16 qualification.
“It was a tough game. We were already through but the stakes were high for our rivals. It was very cold, very windy. Benfica pushed hard, they had opportunities but couldn’t take them.”