According to a report from ESPN, Lionel Messi has been playing through the pain and frustration of a thigh injury for “several weeks”. The move to continue playing despite the injury has been due to the attacking options at Barcelona continuing to be lackluster in its depth.
The report makes it clear that according to their sources at Barcelona, the injury presents no long-term concerns for Messi’s health. The main concern being that playing through pain can sometimes lead to other injuries given that fitness is less than perfect.
This concerning report also says that since Setien took over as boss, the increased intensity in training has made this injury more uncomfortable.
“The sessions are different and some of the drills are more intense,” one source told ESPN. “Some players seem to be feeling the fatigue a bit more and that’s when the pain can appear.”
Despite the fact that the club remains optimistic that the injury won’t be damaging long term, this is still an incredibly concerning report. Barcelona’s lack of depth was shown to be serious when Luis Suarez went down, but I don’t know if anyone realized the club thought it so shallow that playing Messi through an injury was necessary.