The first international break of the new season is already concerning Barcelona.
Lionel Messi and André Gomes will return earlier than expected from their national teams after picking up injuries for Argentina and Portugal on Thursday's matches, with both traveling to Catalonia on Saturday to undergo tests with the club's medical staff to determine the extent of their injuries.
Let's start with Messi, who played all 90 minutes and scored the game-winning goal for the Albiceleste in their 1-0 victory against Luis Suárez's Uruguay, has been ruled out of the next game against Venezuela, next Tuesday. The Argentine FA released a statement regarding Messi's problem:
"This morning, Lionel Messi underwent medical and kinesiological treatment for a groin and thigh pain. It is recommended that he continue to rest from activity and he will not play against Venezuela in the eighth game of World Cup qualifying for Russia 2018."
Source: Diario Sport
Messi has a groin injury that's been causing pain since the last La Liga match against Athletic Bilbao. This is a common problem that players suffer at the beginning of every season, especially since Leo played seven games in 23 days for Barça dating back to preseason. But if left untreated and there is more accumulation of games, it could lead to a more serious issue, so Messi will rest all of next week and could even be rested by Luis Enrique ahead of the Champions League debut against Celtic in 10 days.
André Gomes played less than 30 minutes after coming on as a substitute in Portugal's friendly against Gibraltar, and had to come off after picking up a knock to his leg. Further testing by the national team medical staff revealed that Gomes' pain could be from a muscular injury, and he needed to return to Barcelona to assess the state of his contusion.
As of right now it does not look like Messi and Gomes have serious issues, but we'll only know for sure when Barça conduct further testing and announce the extent of the injuries. Here's hoping it's nothing major and they're healthy for the Champions League.
Thanks, international break!