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Barcelona's Messi to be sidelined for a month

Messi will out of action for a month after tearing right thigh muscle fibers during Tuesday's Champions League match with Chelsea.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2006 12:17 IST

FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will out of action for a month after tearing right thigh muscle fibers during Tuesday's Champions League match with Chelsea.

Messi left the field in the 23rd minute of the 1-1 draw at NouCamp that secured Barcelona a 3-2 aggregate victory and a quarterfinal place.

The Argentine teenager is expected to miss both legs of Barcelona's quarterfinal against as yet unknown opponents as well as Spanish league games with Osasuna, Real Sociedad, Malaga and Real Madrid.

Messi was criticized by Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho after the first leg for allegedly feigning injury after being body-checked by defender Asier Del Horno, resulting in the Chelsea player's ejection.

Messi, 18, is already a fixture in Argentina's senior side and is expected to play in the World Cup, which kicks off June 9.

First Published: Mar 10, 2006 12:17 IST