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Barcelona deny Messi gave interview

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi injury boost for Barcelona after hamstring concern

Barcelona have said tests on Lionel Messi's injury he sustained at the weekend have come back with "great news" regarding his fitness.

Barca coach Luis Enrique said on Sunday that he substituted Messi at half-time of Barca's 6-0 win over Athletic Bilbao as a precaution.

The Argentina international, who scored the first of Barca's six goals against the Basques by netting from the penalty spot, was replaced by Arda Turan at the end of the first half.

Barca said in a statement on Monday: "Medical tests on striker Lionel Messi this Monday morning have revealed great news.

"It turns out that the Argentinian has not got a hamstring injury and has just taken a bit of a knock. It is uncertain whether or not he will be available for future matches, but there is nothing major to worry about."

Barcelona are next in action against Athletic in Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarterfinal first leg in Bilbao. Reports in Spanish media on Monday said the club are unlikely to risk Messi against Bilbao.

"Messi will have tests tomorrow, he has a small strain and had a little discomfort so we preferred not to take any risks," Luis Enrique said in a news conference at the weekend.

"We spoke about it at half-time and with the scoreline as it was we did not want to take risks. I don't like taking risks with any player, so imagine what it's like with Messi."


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