BUENOS AIRES: Lionel Messi’s condition had improved on Sunday after the Barcelona superstar suffered a back injury in Argentina’s 1-0 friendly victory over Honduras, reports citing team medical officials said.
Team doctor Daniel Martinez told La Nacion newspaper that Messi felt less pain in his lower back a day after being left writhing in agony after a heavy collision with a Honduran opponent in the far western city of San Juan.
“Messi is better, with less pain than last night. His recovery is day to day, there are several treatments for this type of blow,” Martinez said.
The Argentina Football Association said in an injury update on its website that Messi had suffered a “significant bone and soft tissue contusion of the left rib cage and lumbar paraspinal area.”
Messi sustained the injury in an accidental collision with Honduras player Oliver Morazan, giving Argentina an injury scare to their star player as they prepare for the Copa America Centenario in the United States next month.
Messi was substituted immediately following the incident and was taken to a hospital for examination on Friday.
Messi remained at the team hotel on Saturday as Argentina trained in the Estadio Bicentenario in San Juan before a crowd of around 8,000 fans.
The five-time FIFA World Player of the Year is due to begin his journey back to Spain later Saturday in order to attend what is expected to be a two-day hearing next week in relation to allegations of tax fraud.
The rest of the Argentina squad are due to fly later Saturday directly to the California city of Santa Clara, outside San Francisco, where they will be based before their opening Copa America game against Chile on June 6.
Messi is expected to join up with the squad in California in time for the first match of the tournament.