EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 26: Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina lies on the turf during the first half of a friendly match against the United States at New Meadowlands Stadium on March 26, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi Muscle Injury 'Ruled Out'; May Be Ready To Face Villarreal

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Lionel Messi Muscle Injury 'Ruled Out'; May Be Ready To Face Villarreal

Despite pulling out of Argentina's friendly against Costa Rica with a suspected muscle problem, Lionel Messi may be fit and ready to play for Barcelona against Villarreal on Saturday. Messi, who played the full ninety minutes in Argentina's 1-1 draw against the United States on Saturday, underwent medical tests in Spain to determine the severity of the issue. A statement released by the club indicated that any injury is unlikely to keep their top scorer out for an extended period:

Once the tests were completed doctors ruled out any muscle injury. The player will have physiotherapy between now and Saturday, when a decision will be taken on his participation in the Villarreal game.

Although Messi's absence for even one game would be a blow, losing their talisman for the run-in in La Liga and the end-stages of the Champions League would have been a major test for Pep Guardiola and his side. Barcelona are due to play Shaktar Donesk in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and have a five point cushion over second place Real Madrid in the league.

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