In his first start of the season, Barcelona star Lionel Messi was removed at half-time with a groin injury against Villarreal on Tuesday.
Messi missed Barcelona’s first four league matches of the season with a calf problem, before returning for a 30-minute appearance off the bench in the Champions League last week against Borussia Dortmund.
That was followed by another appearance off the bench, this time with Messi playing the second half of Barcelona’s 2-0 defeat in La Liga on Saturday against Granada.
The Argentina star finally made his first start of the season on Tuesday – his 400th La Liga career La Liga start – but he only lasted 45 minutes and was replaced by Ousmane Dembele at half-time with Barca ahead 2-1.
Messi took a blow to his left leg in the first half and received treatment but after testing the problem out on the pitch, Barca manager Ernesto Valverde decided to take the Argentine star off.
After the game, Valverde confirmed that Messi had suffered a groin injury.
Asked if Messi was already ruled out for Saturday’s game at Getafe, Valverde replied: “We will see tomorrow but we won’t take any risks because he just recovered from an injury.”