Barcelona star suffers fresh injury setback


Barcelona Head coach Ernesto Valverde of FC Barcelona
SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 25: Head coach Ernesto Valverde of FC Barcelona looks on during the Spanish Copa del Rey match between Barcelona and Valencia at Estadio Benito Villamarin on May 25, 2019 in Seville, . (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Barcelona star Lionel Messi might be out for a month after aggravating the calf injury which had kept him out from the first two games of the season. 

After returning from Copa America duties with Argentina earlier in the summer, Messi picked up a calf problem in his very first training session with FC Barcelona.

While at the time it was thought that the injury wasn't particularly severe – with a Barcelona based news outlet claiming that Messi was targeting to make a comeback in the first game of La Liga – injury forced the 32-year-old to watch the first two games of the season from the stands.

And now, with Messi reportedly aggravating his calf problem, it seems that it might be some time before Barcelona fans could see the Argentine back in action.

International break might save Barcelona

Messi set to miss out on Barcelona's LA LIGA opener
SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 25: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona shows his dejection after Rodrigo Moreno of Valencia CF scored his team's second goal during the Spanish Copa del Rey match between Barcelona and Valencia at Estadio Benito Villamarin on May 25, 2019 in Seville, . (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

While having the best player on the planet ruled out for a month would hit any team hard, Barcelona fans could take solace from the fact that Messi's injury won't hit the squad that hard due to the upcoming international break. 

After Barcelona's next game against Osasuna at the weekend, there won't be any club football for a fortnight, with international teams locking horns with each other.

That is good news for the Barcelona faithful as even if the news is true and Messi is out for a month, the fact that one of the four weeks will be consumed by the international break means that the Argentine would at least miss one less game for the Catalans.

Still, despite beating Real Betis with a comfortable 5-2 margin last weekend, Ernesto Valverde knows that his team could ill-afford to play without Messi for a substantial amount of time.

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Who will take Messi's position in Barcelona starting XI?

Ernesto Valverde FC Barcelona
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 20: Head coach Ernesto Valverde of FC Barcelona looks on ahead of the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on April 20, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Based on how the team has lined up for its opening two games of the La Liga season, it seems that it would be 21-year-old Carels Perez who would play on the right flank in the Argentine's absence. 

After getting only 14 minutes of action in Barcelona's opening game defeat against Athletic Bilbao, Perez was named in the starting XI by manager Ernesto Valverde as the Barcelona manager looked to the youth to solve his injury problems.

The 21-year-old made good of his chance as he scored a goal before being subbed off for 16-year-old Ansu Fati in the 78th minute.

Conversely, if Ernesto Valverde decides against this option, he might have to shift new signing Antoine Griezmann to the right considering the fact that Ousmanne Dembele, who is seen as a more natural right winger, is once again injured.

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