Barcelona star and Argentina captain Lionel Messi will miss almost up to two months of action after tearing his medial collateral ligament in a match against Las Palmas. Those matches will include the first four FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia that he is schedule to play in and about eight matches in all competitions.
Don't cry for me, Argentina
Many media critics and supporters alike have stated that they did not want the 28-year-old superstar in their squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifers, which will be Messi's fourth set of qualification matches since making his Argentina debut a decade ago. Nevertheless, he has banished those rumours and remained loyal to the Albiceleste. The captain will not be playing in the first four for the remainder of the calendar year which includes in order: home against Ecuador and away to Paraguay in October and Brazil at home and away to Colombia in November.
All of these matches are crucial fixtures but with that in mind, they do have replacements with the likes of youth players such as Juventus' Paulo Dybala and Atlético Madrid's Angel Correa. He is not alone though as both his attacking team-mates Neymar and Luis Suárez will not participate in the October matches due to suspensions, but the Brazilian will be back for the big rivalry match against Argentina in Buenos Aires.
Messi-less Camp Nou
The injury occurred after Messi was brought down from a bit of pain after a clash with the Las Palmas goalkeeper, Javi Varas. Physios were able to check on the Ballon d'Or favourite's injury and many suggested that it was minor - and that he would be back on the pitch. However, only minutes later, the Argentine forward was unable to shake off the knock to his knee and was taken out inside ten minutes of the match.
Official word from the club has stated that he will be out for 7-8 weeks due to his tear in the medial collateral ligament.