Lionel Messi suffered a broken arm Saturday during the first half of Barcelona’s win against Sevilla and will miss next week’s game against Real Madrid.
Messi fell after challenging for a ball with Sevilla’s Franco Vazquez and landed awkwardly on his right arm:
The Argentine star was in obvious pain, writhing on the Camp Nou grass before receiving attention from Barca’s medical staff, who eventually wrapped a white bandage around his elbow.
Messi, who had already scored a goal, had to leave the game in the 25th minute with the score at 2-0. He was replaced by Ousmane Dembele. He headed down the tunnel, and reportedly straight to a nearby medical center. Barcelona announced after the game that Messi would be out about three weeks.
❗ [INJURY NEWS] Tests carried out on the first team player Leo Messi have confirmed that he has a fracture of the radial bone in his right arm. He will be out for approximately three weeks. #FuerzaLeo pic.twitter.com/kpNcspnfqo
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 20, 2018
Barcelona won the game 4-2.
The potential long-term impact of a Messi injury for Barcelona
Saturday was an otherwise excellent day for Barca. The Blaugrana were 2-0 up in 12 minutes (and remained 2-0 up at halftime). Earlier in the day, Real Madrid lost, and Atletico Madrid dropped two points to Villareal. Barcelona jumped to the top of La Liga with the win.
But the impact over the next few weeks of a Messi injury could make the day a net negative. Barca has become increasingly reliant on its magician. He’s a transcendent player on an increasingly ordinary (and aging) team.
His absence, therefore, could be a major problem as soon as next week. Barcelona has two massive games, first against Inter Milan in the Champions League, then against Real Madrid next Sunday in La Liga.
The European clash is less important. Barca is off to a fantastic start in Group B, with six points from its first two games. It could very easily survive a loss to Inter on Wednesday.
But Sunday’s Clásico could go a long way toward deciding the domestic title race, even with Real struggling. With Messi out, Madrid might just be favored, even at Camp Nou. At least for Barcelona and Messi, the recovery timetable isn’t as long as it could be.
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Henry Bushnell is a features writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell, and on Facebook.
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