Lionel Messi could miss Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela after Barcelona confirmed he has suffered a hamstring problem.
Medical tests on Monday uncovered an issue with Messi’s left hamstring, but he will travel to Argentina to link up with his team-mates and undergo further assessments.
Messi, who featured for Barcelona in their 1-0 LaLiga win at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, quit international football after Argentina lost the Copa America final to Chile on penalties for the second time in two years, only to later reverse his decision.
He had been expected to play against Uruguay on Saturday, with a game against Venezuela to follow on September 6.
“His presence in those matches will depend on how the injury develops,” a Barcelona statement read.
Coach Edgardo Bauza is already without Messi’s fellow forwards Sergio Aguero and Javier Pastore for his first game in charge due to injury.
Argentina are third in South American qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, with Friday’s opponents Uruguay topping the CONMEBOL standings after six fixtures.
If Messi is ruled out of the games against Uruguay and Venezuela it would represent another major blow for Argentina, who are already without Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, who has a calf problem.
Messi played the whole game on Sunday night as Barcelona continued their impressive start to the La Liga campaign with a 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao.
The 29-year-old missed a significant proportion of last season through injury and will hope that his latest setback won’t keep him sidelined for long, such is his importance for both club and country.
Messi has scored two goals in as many La Liga games so far this campaign, while he has also impressed in a creative sense, laying on eight chances for his team-mates.
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