‘Reckless to set date for Messi’

Former Argentina team doctor Donato Villani says it is not good for Lionel Messi’s recovery to have a return date set.

The 26-year-old has been ruled out for between six and eight weeks after tearing a muscle in the back of his left thigh.

For one chief medic who has worked with Messi in the past at international level, making sure he manages a full recovery is paramount.

“These are injuries that require teamwork and programming. If he recovers, begins again and suffers another injury and then creates a vicious cycle then all it does is keep Leo away from the field,” Villani has reflected this week on La Xarxa.

“Leo is a very healthy guy but he has a way of playing and physical characteristics that make him very fast, he has speed and a reaction time typical of a sprinter. Subsequently, Leo suffers in his back leg muscles. That is an area of weakness that he has.

“You cannot put a date to these injuries. He will play when he is ready. With a footballer of the exposure of Messi, to say he will play on such a day is reckless because it produces a pressure on the environment and it is very difficult for the player and the body that is trying to be isolated from that pressure.

“It is convenient to say day by day, if earlier then better and if not, be patient.

“The psyology involved in all organice processes of our body affects our confidence. To be No 1 at the level of Messi, he must be No 1 in the head, the heart and the legs. A player like Messi and his characteristics, these are issues that alter the free functioning of the athlete.

“I bet on my profession and 30 years of football that Messi will be well for the World Cup. Because he wants to get well, the people at the national team work well, the Coach at Barcelona is Argentine and knows what Messi needs.

“We hope of course that nothing happens to him a month before…but Messi’s risk is the same for all athletes.”

Tags Argentina Martino Messi Villani