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Lionel Messi injured? Barcelona star leaves at halftime of Spanish Super Cup’s first leg


Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (2nd R) vies with Atletico Madrid’s midfielder Koke (2nd L) during the Spanish Super Cup first leg football match Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on August 21, 2013. AFP PHOTO / GERARD JULIEN (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Late in the first half at the Vicente Calderon, some mild concerned for Lionel Messi started to develop as the Barcelona attacker appeared to have suffered an injury. When the Argentine didn’t return after halftime that concern became outright worry, with Gerardo Martino electing to bring Cesc Fábregas on in the second half.

Now some word that a thigh strain, picked up after taking a knock in the first half, forced Barcelona’s precaution. Messi will undergo further evaluation tomorrow when the team returns to Barcelona.

Atlético Madrid took an early lead over Barça in the first leg of the team’s two-legged Spanish Super Cup tie, with former Blaugrana forward David Villa scoring in the 12th minute. Barcelona later equalized through Neymar, who scored his first goal for the club in the 66th minute.

The game remained tied 1-1 at the time of this posting.

Lionel Messi went 71 minutes on Sunday against Levante in Barcelona’s first Primera Division match of the season, leaving once Barcelona had the game well in hand. He scored twice and set up another in Barcelona’s 7-0 victory.