According to Mundo Deportivo, the tear to Lionel Messi’s hamstring is 6cm long and will prevent him returning ahead of schedule.
The newspaper is understood to have made a detailed study of the Barcelona player’s problem, concluding that it will be practically impossible him to be ready before the expected recovery date of the first week in January.
Messi attended the Golden Shoe event earlier this week and reports suggested he was no longer in pain. In the meantime, he is working with Argentine physiotherapist Luis Garcia and is undergoing three sessions per day.
The home game with Elche on January 5 has been mooted as a possible comeback date, although it remains to be seen whether La Pulga can build up enough strength by then before he resumes his duties with Tata Martino’s side.