Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will miss the next seven to eight weeks after sustaining a knee injury in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Las Palmas at Camp Nou.
Messi went down after colliding with Las Palmas defender Pedro Bigas in the third minute.
He writhed on the ground in front of the Las Palmas goal before play was stopped. Following medical attention, the Argentina star went back on, but two minutes later asked to be replaced after carefully trotting around and testing his leg with a pair of passes.
Messi walked off by himself as Munir El Haddadi replaced the four-time world player of the year in front of a quiet Camp Nou crowd of almost 75,000.
A club spokesman confirmed to The Associated Press that Messi is ”undergoing tests” at a local hospital, adding that the club would announce the results when they were available.
Messi was limited by a persistent series of hamstring injuries during 2013, but returned to his best form last season and scored 58 goals.
The 28-year-old Messi led Barcelona to a sweep of the Champions League, Spanish league and Copa del Rey titles last campaign.
He is the all-time highest scorer for Barcelona, and also has scored more goals in the Spanish league than anyone.
Barcelona has already lost midfielder Rafina to a ligament tear for an expected six months.
Having visited a local clinic for tests, the club confirmed his period of absence, stating: “Messi has a tear in the internal collateral ligament of his left knee. He will be out for around 7-8 weeks.”
Messi has a tear in the internal collateral ligament of his left knee. He will be out for around 7-8 weeks pic.twitter.com/TLor97gmou
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 26, 2015