Barcelona star Lionel Messi has set alarms bells ringing at the Nou Camp after revealing that he has a "lot of pain" in his groin after scoring the goal to secure Argentina's 1-0 victory over Uruguay and putting his side top of the Conmebol World Cup qualification standings. Meanwhile, the Ballon D'or said that his compatriots' support was key in his decision to return to the national team, only months after he had announced his retirement following the Copa America final defeat to Chile in June.
Messi suffered an injury in his groin during Barcelona's latest victory over Athletic on Sunday 28 August. The club gave him permission to join the national team for the World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela (on 6 August) but added that his participation in both games was uncertain.
"The player is travelling to Argentina with a medical report approved by FC Barcelona and the Argentine FA and his presence in his country's World Cup qualifying matches will depend on how the injury develops," the club announced earlier this week.
"A report on tests performed on Monday, and as approved by the FC Barcelona Medical Services and the Argentinian Football Association, has confirmed that Leo Messi has hurt his left hamstring.
"The player is travelling to Argentina to join the national team for World Cup qualifying matches at home to Uruguay and away to Venezuela, and his presence in those matches will depend on how the injury develops."
The Barcelona star eventually played against Uruguay, as it was the first game since he announced his decision to return to the national team after he had previously retired from international football following the Copa America defeat to Chile.
Messi has admitted that this fact played a key role in his decision to play the game against Uruguay, but added that he could miss the coming game against Venezuela on Tuesday (6 September) due to the injury.
"I don't know [if I will be able to play against Venezuela]," the Barcelona star said to TV Publica. "I have a lot of pain in my groin but I wanted to be here after the disturbance I caused, when I said that I was not going to return again."
Barcelona are sweating over the fitness of the forward as after the international break they will face Alaves in La Liga (on 10 September) before the Champions League opener with Celtic (13 September).
Meanwhile, Messi explained that he decided to retire from international football following the Copa America defeat because it was a big blow for him. But the support of the fans and new manager Edgardo "El Paton" Bauza made him backtrack.
"I am very grateful for all the love that I received [after saying that I was going to retire]. But I did not lie to anybody when I retired, I felt that. I had a conversation with the Paton [Bauza] and the people as well accompanied me through it. I had to return. I feel very happy to be here again," he added. "This group always responds in the most complicated moments. It was important to start this new era with a win."