The words “International Break” are enough to strike fear into the hearts of Barcelona fans, especially when one comes at such a crucial juncture in the season. And while most of our starting 11 will return home with many kilometers of travel under their belts, some players have been even more unlucky. Read on for a quick summary of the injury situations at Barcelona and Real Madrid following the week’s international fixtures.
Alarm bells rang today in the Catalan capitol with news of a potential hamstring injury to Lionel Messi who’s Argentine squad were slated to play against Costa Rica on Tuesday night. The latest word on this injury [from Radio Ona FM via Barcastuff] is that Messi has been withheld from the squad more out of precaution than because of a real muscular problem. Argentine officials, quoted in a Radio Catalunya broadcast noted that “Messi isn’t injured. The player asked to play but the coach wants him to rest.” Messi will return to Barcelona for more tests but is expected to be fit to take the field against Villarreal on Saturday.
It was also revealed officially by the club on Monday that reserve striker Bojan Krkic suffered a sprained ankle during Spain’s Under-21 match with Belarus. It is still unknown whether the player will be fit to face Villarreal this weekend.
Midfielder Sergio Busquets also picked up a knock in Spain’s match against the Czech Republic on Saturday, and was rested as a precaution in their match against Lithuania on Tuesday. He should be available for Barcelona’s next match.
Jose Mourinho was accused by Guillem Balague on last week’s Revista of faking injuries to Christiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Carvalho to safeguard them during the international break. Alleged pressure from the club was also enough to secure the early return from national duty of starting midfielders Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira.
However, Marca is reporting today that in-form striker Karim Benzema has sustained a muscular injury during France’s match with Croatia that will keep him out of action for 10 days. Defender Marcelo injured himself during training with Brazil in Scotland and remains doubtful for Madrid’s game against Sporting this weekend.