Barcelona relief over Lionel Messi injury scare

Leaders Barcelona breathed a sigh of relief today after tests showed that a suspected injury to joint La Liga top scorer Lionel Messi on international duty with Argentina was merely a scare.

The World Player of the Year, level on 27 goals with Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, pulled out of Argentina's friendly against Costa Rica on Tuesday as a precaution.

He had tests on the adductor muscle in his right leg at a clinic in the Catalan capital as Barca prepare to defend their five-point lead over chasing Real Madrid at third-placed Villarreal on Saturday.

"Once the tests were completed doctors ruled out any muscle injury," Barca said.

"The player will have physiotherapy between now and Saturday, when a decision will be taken on his participation in the Villarreal game."

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