Barcelona, Clubs, Lionel Messi, Spanish Primera División, Story

Lionel Messi will be out approximately three weeks with a fracture in the radial bone of his right arm, meaning the Barcelona captain will miss a Champions League match against Inter Milan on Wednesday and next Sunday’s Clasico against Real Madrid.

Messi, who had scored a goal five minutes earlier, suffered the injury in the 17th minute of Barcelona’s 4-2 win over Sevilla on Saturday night.

The gruesome-looking injury occurred when Messi landed hard on his right arm after getting wrapped up with Sevilla midfielder Franco Vazquez. The arm buckled and twisted at an awkward angle underneath his body weight as he fell to the pitch. Ousmane Dembele came on for Messi.

“It’s a significant loss, given who we’re talking about,” Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde said in a postmatch conference. “We know what he can give to us, what it means to the opposition when Leo’s on our team.

“But we have to to accept it and prepare to be without him. Of course we’re going to notice not having Messi, we know that. But we have to take it on, we have resources [to come into the team], despite the opposition being tough.”

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique remained confident that the defending La Liga champions can endure Messi’s absence for the two crucial matches in the coming days.  

“There have been games when Messi hasn’t played before and we’ve tried to play in the same way. Leo is fundamental, but that’s what we will try: to maintain the same idea and move forward,” Pique said. 

The injury is expected to rule him out of a total five games in La Liga and the Champions League. With Messi missing next week’s clash against their league rivals, it would be the first Clasico to not feature him since Dec. 23, 2007.

ESPN FC’s Sam Marsden contributed to this report.

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