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Copa America 2016: Lionel Messi Questionable for Argentina Opener

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Copa América Centenario is well on its way but FC Barcelona's presence has been minimal, with only Dani Alves featuring for Brazil on the second day of the competition. Luis Suarez was forced to miss yesterday's action with an injury and while today expected to feature a heavy Barcelona presence with Claudio Bravo in net for Chile, Javier Mascherano anchoring and Lionel Messi leading Argentina, the latter's recovery reportedly has not gone according to plan.

While Messi's game-status has not been made official, reports are inconclusive about his fitness, ranging from that the Argentine superstar will miss the game completely to him being available for limited action. What the reports seem to agree on is that Messi will not start the important opening game against Chile. Messi has been training separately ever since the back injury he picked up in a friendly game against Hoduras, described as a deep bone bruise in the lower lumbar region, but has also missed valuable recovery time due to court obligations for his alleged tax fraud charges.

An official announcement on Messi's status is expected after the team's training session on Sunday. Whether or not Messi misses the match or not, it is believed that his status for the remainder of the tournament is not in question and he should, at the latest, be available in a couple of days when Argentina take on Panama.

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