Messi out for weeks with groin injury

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MADRID. KAZINFORM FC Barcelona will be without star player Leo Messi for at least three weeks, after it was confirmed that the Argentinean striker tore a groin muscle during his side's 1-1 draw at home to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, Xinhua reported.

Messi was forced to leave the game in obvious discomfort after a tussle with Atletico defender Diego Godin. He was replaced by Arda Turan.

He will now miss Barca's next three games, which are away to Sporting Gijon and Celta Vigo in the Liga Santander, and away to Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League, in addition to Argentina's next two World Cup qualifying games in October.

The injury is a recurrence of the problems the striker suffered from the last time he was on international duty earlier in the month.

"We lose out and football also loses without Leo," lamented Barca coach Luis Enrique after the game. Nevertheless the coach remembered how Barcelona were able to survive without Messi when he was out for around 2 months with a different muscle injury last season.

"We are stronger with him in the side, but last year we found ourselves in a similar situation and the team was able to progress," he added.

The coach placed importance on his decision to change midfielder Sergio Busquets five minutes into the second half, explaining that the Spain international had been suffering from a fever.

"He didn't feel good and we didn't want to take any risks," explained Luis Enrique.

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