Lionel Messi could be out for eight weeks with a hamstring injury, FC Barcelona have confirmed.

MessiBarcelona maintained their unbeaten run and extended their lead at the top with an emphatic 4-1 win over Real Betis this weekend. But that win came at a heavy price as Lionel Messi was substituted in the 22nd minute of the game with a hamstring injury. The scans have now revealed that the Argentine international could be out of action for as long as eight weeks.

Although the injury came ahead of an international break, Lionel Messi will possibly miss as many as eight matches (in all competitions) for Barcelona. The Catalan giants have already qualified for the knockout phase in the Champions League, but could possibly face problems in La Liga without their top scorer. Messi has already faced problems with his hamstring earlier this year and this time he will also miss two of Argentina’s international friendlies against Ecuador and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“According to the club’s medical services, the tests taken on Monday morning by Leo Messi have confirmed that the player has suffered a torn muscle in the femoral biceps of his left leg.

“The approximate time he will be out is between six and eight weeks.

“The first part of his recovery will take place in Barcelona and the second, in Buenos Aires.” – Read an official statement from Barcelona confirming the news.

Messi’s team mate, Cesc Fabregas, who himself has pulled out of the Spanish squad due to a knee injury, has urged the Argentine maestro to take his time to recover from this injury and recalled the time when he suffered from a similar injury during his time at Arsenal.

“He needs to take as much time as he needs, to recover and get back to his level. We need him at his best.

“I had something similar at Arsenal. You think you’re OK, but you’re not.

“I had this injury and I wasn’t right for up to a year and a half – it’s a really frustrating injury.

“You need to take whatever time you need because if you don’t it won’t heal properly.” – Fabregas said in an interview.