Lionel Messi injury: Barcelona forward ruled out until 2014 with hamstring tear as team-mate Cesc Fabregas urges him not to rush back before he is fully fit

Messi limped out the action after 22 minutes as his goalless La Liga run stretched to five appearances and he now faces a six-to-eight week spell on the sidelines

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been ruled out for between 6-8 weeks after it was confirmed he suffered a hamstring tear in the 4-1 victory over Real Betis.

The Argentinian limped out of the La Liga clash after just 22 minutes, and after undergoing an ultrasound on the injury earlier today, it has been confirmed that he will be out until the New Year.

His Barcelona team-mate Cesc Fabregas has already urged the 26-year-old not to rush back from the injury, with the belief that he will do more damage than good if he returnes before he is 100 per cent fit.

"[Messi] has to stop to take the time that he needs to emphasise his explosiveness," the former Arsenal captain told Canal Plus following the match. "Something similar happened to me and I was badly affected.

"You believe you're okay at first but you're not. I was disappointed to miss out on some games but I know I'm at Barcelona and I will continue to grow.

"I spent the injury out of action and even spent half a year with the ordeal, which was not good; it was a very bad injury. Messi has to stop as it takes time to recover if it does not heal properly."

Fabregas will also undergo tests after he complained of discomfort in his knee during the La Liga victory, in which he also scored twice having started the match in midfield alongside Xavi and Alex Song.

For Messi though, the match represented his fifth league appearance in a row where he has failed to find the back of the net – a rare occurrence given his extremely high standards of goalscoring that we have become used to over the past few years.

Fabregas also spoke to alleviate fears over his injury, claiming that he was already in  discomfort during the Champions League clash midweek against AC Milan and that his early departure was more of a precaution that a necessity.

"It will not be serious," Fabregas stressed. "Just a minor annoyance.

"I had a major injury in the region not long ago, so I preferred to come off the pitch early. I was already not comfortable against Milan."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada