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Messi’s status in doubt for Barcelona-Inter Milan

Barcelona V  Villarreal

BARCELONA, SPAIN - September 24: Lionel Messi #10 of Barcelona during the Barcelona V Villarreal, La Liga regular season match at Estadio Camp Nou on September 24th 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Corbis via Getty Images

Lionel Messi is injured again, his troubled early season seeing a left adductor injury adding to his woes.

Barca vaguely said that “his recovery will determine his availability,” which, well, of course it will.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has played just 120 minutes this season after a foot injury cost him Barcelona’s first four matches of the season.

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He was injured in the first half of Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Villarreal and left at halftime. At the time, manager Ernesto Valverde said his removal was “just a precaution.”

Barca has struggled with and without him, though the side was notably better in his lone start of the year.

Messi’s status is in question for a weekend La Liga date with Getafe, and then a midweek UEFA Champions League match-up with Inter Milan.

That’s a big one, with Barca having drawn away to Borussia Dortmund in its first UCL match, especially given Inter’s incredible start to life under Antonio Conte.

Fortunately for Valverde’s Barca, Conte’s success did not extend to the UCL as Inter drew Slavia Prague in its first group stage match.

Barca is five points behind improving Real Madrid and four back of second-place Atletico Madrid, with the Madrid Derby set for Saturday at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Follow @NicholasMendola