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By ESPN Staff

Messi ruled out of Espanyol clash with ankle injury

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been ruled out of Saturday's derby against Espanyol due to an ankle injury.

Messi sustained the problem late during Wednesday night's 2-1 Champions League win at Dynamo Kiev courtesy of a fierce tackle from Leandro Almeida - shortly after netting the decisive goal from a stunning free-kick.

A statement on the club's official website on Thursday read: "Messi has been evaluated and it has been confirmed this afternoon that he has a grade II sprain to his right ankle. He is out for Saturday's game."

The injury will be assessed before a decision is made on his availability for the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final next Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola's side advanced to the last 16 of the Champions League thanks to their win last night and head into this weekend's clash with Espanyol at Camp Nou five points clear of arch rivals Real Madrid at the Primera Division summit.

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