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Football: Injured Messi a doubt as Barcelona travel to Malaga

Published on Aug 23, 2013 1:15 PM
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi looks on during the Spanish Super Cup first leg football match Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on Aug 21, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP  

MADRID, Community of Madrid (AFP) - Lionel Messi is a major doubt for Barcelona's trip to Malaga on Sunday after he was again forced off with bruising on his hamstring during the Catalans' 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

Messi has now played the 90 minutes in just one of Barcelona and Argentina's last 27 matches stretching back to when he initially picked up a hamstring strain against Paris Saint-Germain in April.

Should the 26-year-old not recover in time to play on Sunday against a much changed Malaga side to the one that made the Champions League quarter-finals last season, Neymar could be handed his first start after coming off the bench to salvage a draw for Gerardo Martino's men with his first goal for the club against Atletico in the Super Cup.

"I hope it will be the first goal of many," he told Spanish television station TVE.

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