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Messi out with injury ahead of La Liga restart

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is out of action less than two weeks ahead of the opening of La Liga season after injuring his right calf in training on Monday.

The Argentina star has already been ruled out of the team’s trip to Florida for a one-off friendly against Napoli in Miami on Wednesday.

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“Tests carried out have diagnosed a grade 1 calf strain,” the Spanish champions said in a statement, an injury that can require around two weeks of recuperation.

“Messi will remain in Barcelona and will now not travel to the USA for the club’s tour. His availability to come back to action will be dictated by his recovery from the injury.”

The club opens the new La Liga campaign at Athletic Bilbao on August 16.

Footballer Lionel Messi was recently suspended from playing international matches for Argentina for three months after alleging corruption at the Copa America last month.

South American football body CONMEBOL also handed Messi a $50,000 fine for his comments after Argentina’s 2-1 win against Chile in the third-place playoff of the tournament in Brazil in July.

Messi, Argentina’s captain, was red-carded for only the second time in his career during the Chile match in Sao Paulo following a scuffle with Gary Medel, who was also sent off.

Messi avoided the medal ceremony in protest and later said Argentina “shouldn’t take part in this corruption”.

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