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Barca counts cost of night in Paris
by Paul Kennedy, April 2nd, 2013 11:22PM

TAGS:  france, spain, uefa champions league


[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Unlike the round of 16, when there were three weeks between legs, there's just a week between quarterfinal legs, which may not be enough time for Lionel Messi to recover from the hamstring injury he suffered Tuesday in Barcelona's 2-2 tie at Paris St. Germain. It came minutes after he scored his 57th goal of the season.

Messi has been remarkably injury-free in his career. He's averaged 34 La Liga games for Barca the last four seasons. His last major injury was a thigh injury that sidelined him for six weeks in 2008.

Much has been written about his exercise regime and diet. His resilience has been remarkable. The Argentine was stretchered off with what was feared to be a career-threatening knee injury in December in a Champions League match against Benfica but was back in action days later against Betis and broke Gerd Mueller's record for goals in a season.

On Tuesday, Messi came off for Cesc Fabregas at the start of the second half and was scheduled to undergo tests Wednesday on his right hamstring back in Barcelona.

"Of course, it will be a big loss if we lose Messi, the best player in the world," said Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura, who has been running the team in the absence of head coach Tito Vilanova, who returned to the sidelines for the first time after undergoing cancer surgery. "But we have Cesc and other options, so we are confident from that point of view."

Also of concern was the knee injury suffered by Argentina Javier Mascherano at the end of the game. He is expected to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks.

Mascherano was playing in place of captain Carles Puyol, who is out after undergoing knee surgery last month.

"If we end up not having Leo or Mascherano in the return game," added Roura, "that will be negative because they are very important to us, but we will try to make use of our large squad."

Paris SG-Barcelona Highlights:

David Alaba scored on a deflected long-range strike after only 27 seconds, and Thomas Mueller added a goal in the second half to give Bayern Munich a 2-0 win over Juventus. The German leader dominated the game with a 22-8 advantage in shots.

Bayern Munich-Juventus Highlights:

1 comment
  1. feliks fuksman
    commented on: April 3, 2013 at 9:22 a.m.
    Just seen the highlights so far; I think Messi will be ready for the return match. Wonderful action!! MAGIC!!

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