Argentina doctor eases Lionel Messi’s injury fears with Barcelona star expected to shake off knock ahead of Copa America opener
- Lionel Messi sustained a back injury in Argentina’s win over Honduras
- Argentine is expected to be fit for the start of the Copa America next week
- Team doctor Daniel Martinez did not specify length of Messi’s recovery
- Messi was kneed in the back by Honduras substitute Oliver Morazan
Lionel Messi, recovering from a bad knock to his back 10 days before Argentina’s opening Copa America Centenario match, was feeling less pain on Saturday, team doctor Daniel Martinez said.
‘Messi is better, with less pain than last night,’ Martinez told reporters after Messi suffered bruising to his lower back and rib cage during Friday’s 1-0 friendly win over Honduras.
But Martinez added that he could not say how long Messi’s recovery would take.
Lionel Messi was forced to come off during Argentina’s Copa America warm-up win over Honduras
The Barcelona forward was kneed in the back by Honduras substitute Oliver Morazan in the second-half
‘We’ve got to take it day-by-day… It’s an area where it hurts to move normally, (like) get up, turn and cough,’ he was quoted as saying in the Buenos Aires sports daily Ole (www.ole.com.ar).
Messi was kneed in the back by Honduras substitute Oliver Morazan during a warm-up game for the June 3-26 tournament in the United States played in the Argentine city of San Juan and had to be substituted, walking off in pain in the 64th minute.
Argentina’s team doctor Daniel Martinez said Messi was feeling less pain on Saturday after the collision
Messi will hope to have made a full recovery in time for the start of the Copa America against Chile on June 6
He missed a light training session on Saturday and was not in any case going to travel with the rest of the squad directly to Santa Clara in California where Argentina meet Chile in their Group D opener on June 6.
Messi was instead due to fly to Barcelona, where he has to attend court in a tax evasion case on Thursday, before joining up again with the squad, though Martinez said if it was up to him he would advise him against travelling on Saturday.
Argentina also face Bolivia and Panama at the tournament, which marks the centenary of the former South American Championship.