Lionel Messi's Serious-Looking Injury: Probably Not That Serious

David Ramos

Football fans around the world feared the worst when Messi went down in Barcelona's 0-0 draw with Benfica in the Champions League. After some speculated the injury could be serious, initial reports suggest it is a relatively minor one. Tests are still pending.

Lionel Messi came on as a sub in the second half of the match against Benfica to try to give Barcelona the win and to tie Gerd Muller's record for most goals in a calendar year.

When Gerard Pique lifted the ball towards Messi, who sprang free towards goal, it seemed like the record was destined to be broken. Instead, Messi was apparently hurt in a collision with Benfica's goalkeeper Artur.

Messi kept running, and rather than go down looking for a penalty, attempted a chipped shot which Artur was able to save. However, he immediately fell to the ground and had to be carried off the field.

As teammate Sergi Roberto said, "when Messi gets hit, he always stands up immediately as if nothing happened." Because of this, Roberto, along with the silent Camp Nou and worried fans across the globe, began to fear the worst.

Some speculated it could be an ACL tear, which would sideline the Argentine magician for several months. However, the good news is that initial reports suggest the injury is actually relatively small.

FC Barcelona's Director of Football Andoni Zubizarreta declared that the injury seemed "minor." Goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto told reporters that Messi seemed calm and felt fine while the doctors examined him.

Since, the club has said that Messi has suffered a big knock on the outside of his left knee, but an MRI test is being done as a precaution. Barca's coach Tito Vilanova said "the feeling is: it's not bad, but it's early."

If it's just the external bruise, Messi shouldn't be out long. A week, maybe.

Journalist Guillem Balague said Messi was walking all right in the dressing room. "Only a scare," Balague wrote on his Twitter account.

Football fans certainly hope that's the case.

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