Football: Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi to have tests on possible muscle injury

Lionel Messi scores on a penalty kick during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club Bilbao.
Lionel Messi scores on a penalty kick during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club Bilbao. PHOTO: AFP

BARCELONA (REUTERS) - Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will have tests on Monday on a possible muscle injury suffered in Sunday's 6-0 La Liga victory at home to Athletic Bilbao, coach Luis Enrique said.

Messi, who scored Barca's opening goal from the penalty spot, was replaced by Arda Turan at half-time at the Nou Camp and Luis Enrique told a news conference he had taken the decision as a precaution.

The Argentina forward and Fifa Ballon d'Or holder missed two months late last year with a knee injury but has looked close to his best in recent weeks.

"Tomorrow tests will be conducted, he has some mild muscle fatigue," Luis Enrique told a news conference.

"There was no sense in taking risks," added the former Barca and Spain midfielder. "I don't like to risk anyone, least of all Messi."

Barca's Spain full-back Jordi Alba also had to come off in the second half after suffering what looked like a hamstring strain when lunging for the ball.

Second-placed Barca, who are two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid with a game in hand, play at Bilbao in the first leg of their King's Cup quarter-final on Wednesday.

Barca beat Bilbao 3-1 in last year's final and the return is at the Nou Camp a week later.