Lionel Messi adds to Barcelona injury crisis ahead of Champions League second leg against PSG

The Spanish side drew 2-2 in Paris and now the spotlight turns on their misfiring strikers to ensure progress to the semi-finals

Lionel Messi is certain to miss Barcelona's weekend La Liga match against Real Mallorca due to a hamstring injury picked up in last night's draw with PSG in the Champions League.

Barcelona said in a statement that their leading scorer would then return to action depending upon the speed of his recovery. The news means the Argentinian is a serious doubt for the return leg against PSG next Tuesday.

"The club's medical services have revealed that Leo Messi's hamstring injury will definitely rule him out of this weekend's game against Mallorca, whilst his availability after that will depend on how the injury progresses," read a statement on Barcelona's website.

Messi's absence from the Mallorca game brings a premature end to his incredible scoring streak in the Primera Division.

At the weekend, Messi became the first player to score against every other side in the Spanish top flight in successive matches after netting for the 19th consecutive league game.

His absence, which local media have reported could be as long as three weeks, will turn the spotlight on his misfiring strike partners ahead of next week's Champions League quarter-final second leg at the Nou Camp.

The World Player of the Year limped off at halftime in yesterday's 2-2 first-leg draw in Paris, having scored the opening goal.

Messi joined Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Galatasaray's Burak Yilmaz as the competition's leading scorers with eight goals, but the closest any of his team mates come to that is left back Jordi Alba's two goals.

"Good draw, but very expensive!" was the front-page headline of Barcelona-based daily Sport this morning, after the side notched up valuable away goals but lost Javier Mascherano and possibly Messi to injuries.

Spain's David Villa and Pedro, Chile's Alexis Sanchez, and midfielder-cum-forward Cesc Fabregas, have managed only three goals between them in Europe, trailing way behind the Champions League's leading scorer for the the last four seasons in a row.

Barca may need to prove they can survive without the rarely-injured and prolific 25-year-old in the short term.

Sanchez is clearly lacking in confidence, as was seen with two poorly-taken chances on Tuesday, though he did win the penalty for Xavi to put Barca 2-1 up near the end.

Villa has failed to recover his consistency and sharpness since breaking his leg at the Club World Cup in December 2011, and Fabregas has been short of form in recent weeks.

Pedro, who was suspended on Tuesday, should have recovered from a calf injury for the second leg, but has yet to get off the mark in the Champions League this season.

Cristian Tello is another option. The little-used, young winger scored one and set up the second for Messi in their 2-2 draw at Real Zaragoza in La Liga last Saturday, and brings a directness and pace to an attack that at times lacks a cutting edge.

He has scored one goal in the Champions League this season.

Barca coach Tito Vilanova also has headaches in defence after Argentina defender Javier Mascherano was taken off on a stretcher with a torn knee ligament, and the club said he was looking at six weeks on the sidelines.

"Messi and Mascherano are two very important pieces of the team," Xavi told reporters.

"We are having a lot of bad luck in defence, with Carles Puyol and Adriano Correia already out, and now this."

Vilanova lacks specialist centre-backs, a problem that has been evident since Barca failed in their attempts to purchase one at the end of last season. Mascherano himself is a converted midfielder.

Puyol, 34, is recovering from knee surgery and will be hard-pushed to be ready for next week, the versatile Adriano is out with a hamstring tear, and little-used youth-team product Marc Bartra, 22, lacks experience.

The versatile Eric Abidal has just returned to the side a year after having a liver transplant and has yet to play a competitive match.

Another option is to convert holding midfielders Sergio Busquets or Alex Song into centre-backs, which has been tried occasionally, but the last eight of the Champions League is hardly the best time for experimentation.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game