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Messi Sidelined For Eight Weeks

Barcelona have reported that Lionel Messi will be sidelined for eight weeks because of a muscle tear in his left hamstring muscle.

The Argentinean star went off after just 20 minutes in Barcelona's 4-1 win against Real Betis on Sunday, the third time this season that he has been forced off with a muscular problem this season.

"The club's medical services confirmed after tests this Monday morning that Leo Messi has a torn hamstring muscle in his left thigh and is expected to miss the next 6 to 8 weeks," Barcelona said in a statement.

"The first phase of Messi's recovery will be covered in Barcelona and he will then travel to Buenos Aires," it added.

Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino said Messi's injury troubles were not related and could never be used as en excuse for the team to not perform.

Martino said after the game, "We have the best player in the world, but we also have four or five of the next six or seven best players in the world. Therefore, as a coach, the absence of Messi should never be used as an excuse for not winning.

"The injury to Messi doesn't have anything to do with the previous ones because it is in the other leg,"

Messi went off with score still at 0-0 against Betis.

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