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Lionel Messi to miss Barcelona’s match against Inter with arm injury

Leo won’t be playing against the Nerazzurri on Wednesday, after fracturing his right arm on Saturday evening.

Valencia CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

It’s still only Saturday evening, the Milan derby has not taken place yet and quite frankly it would be impossible for any Interista to look beyond the big match at San Siro at this moment in time.

So if you feel that you can’t think about Wednesday’s upcoming UEFA Champions League match with Barcelona yet, we understand completely.

Having said that, news is news is news.

And, more to the point, breaking news is breaking news is breaking news.

So here is the breaking news, and it’s big: Lionel Messi has been ruled out of Barcelona’s UEFA Champions League match against Inter Milan next week.

Shortly after scoring the Blaugrana’s second goal in what turned out to be a 4-2 win over Sevilla - a win which sent Ernesto Valverde’s convalescent side back to the top of the La Liga standings - the Argentine was forced off the pitch with an arm injury.

In real time nobody really seemed sure how serious a problem it was, but the pain etched across his face suggested that this wasn’t a minor injury.

Now that the match has finished and Barcelona’s medical team have checked him out more thoroughly, the club have confirmed that he has fractured the radial bone in his right arm and will be out for approximately three weeks.

Messi therefore has no chance of recovering in time for our trip to Catalunya on Wednesday - but if Barca’s immediate prognosis is accurate, then there is a good chance he won’t be fit in time to feature at San Siro either, where Inter will host the return match on Tuesday 6 November.

Are Barca’s medics just being cautious with that estimated return date, or is that a realistic proposition?

Valencia CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga
Will Lionel Messi end up missing BOTH of Barcelona’s Champions League games against Inter?
Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Only time will tell.

One would imagine that Luciano Spalletti has very little interest either way at the moment, because he has another enormous game to take care of before he can turn his attention to Barcelona.

From Monday morning onwards, however, his life has just become a smidgen easier, because he no longer has to worry about devising a plan to stop the greatest player in the history of the sport (one of them, at least). And that’s never a bad way to start your week.

(Get well soon, Leo. Genuinely. Football is an infinitely worse place without you.)