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Lionel Messi to miss this week's Barcelona matches as precaution

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Looks like Barcelona will have to go through this week without their best player.

The small injury scare on Sunday involving Lionel Messi was alarming to coach Luis Enrique and his staff. Although following tests showed no hamstring injury, the medical services advised both Enrique and Messi that the best decision in the long term is to rest the player now and not to risk further problems.

If the advice is taken and Messi does miss this week, he won't be available for Wednesday's first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals against Athletic Bilbao at San Mamés, as well as Saturday's difficult La Liga encounter with Málaga, also away from home.

Messi has just recovered from a two-month absence due to a knee injury suffered in September, and it would be worrying to see Leo with another injury problem just a few weeks after his return. If a rest is better, then rest him. It's that simple. Plus, with the new signings doing a great job and Neymar available, Barça could survive Bilbao and still win at Málaga.

It's just a week, after all.