Lionel Messi will miss Paris Saint-Germain's meeting with Montpellier on Saturday because of his knee injury and is facing a real race against time to recover before the clash with Manchester City in the Champions League.
The Argentine took a blow to the knee in his side's 2-1 win over Lyon, being hauled off by Mauricio Pochettino late in the game - a substitution which sent shockwaves around the world.
Diagnosed with a bone bruise, Messi missed the 2-1 win over Metz and will remain on the sidelines for the Montpellier game, with all eyes now on whether Messi can make it back in time to face City and Pep Guardiola on Tuesday.
"Can he play against City on Tuesday? We hope so," Pochettino said (via RMC Sport) in a press conference on Friday. "We have to be careful, we will see his development in the coming days."
The 34-year-old is back in light training but has not been deemed fit enough to feature this weekend, with Pochettino understandably more concerned about having Messi available for the Champions League game instead.
In Messi's place, Mauro Icardi joined Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in attack, and he will likely keep that spot for as long as his fellow countryman is unavailable.
Pochettino already has a handful of major fitness issues to contend with. Centre-back Sergio Ramos is still waiting for his debut after arriving with a calf problem, while midfielder Marco Verratti has missed the last three Ligue 1 games with a knee injury.
The boss will also be without Idrissa Gueye and Angel Di Maria, both of whom are serving suspensions after their red cards when these two sides met in last season's semi-final.
City emerged with a 2-1 victory at the Parc des Princes in the first leg of that tie, before confirming their spot in the final with a 2-0 win back on home soil.
Source : 90min