Messi ruled out for PSG but expected to return before World Cup

By Sports Desk November 05, 2022

Lionel Messi will miss Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 trip to Lorient after suffering from inflammation in his Achilles tendon, but Christophe Galtier expects him to return before the World Cup. 

Messi has been in spectacular form during his second season with PSG, recording 26 goal contributions (12 goals, 14 assists) in all competitions this campaign.

With just over two weeks to go until Argentina's World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia, however, a PSG medical update sparked fears over Messi's condition by ruling him out of Sunday's match.

The club said Messi would miss that fixture as a precautionary measure before returning to training next week, and Galtier expects him to be available against Auxerre on November 13.

"Messi has inflammation in his tendon," Galtier said at Saturday's pre-match news conference. "I think he will be available for our next game, just like Presnel Kimpembe, who is still in rehabilitation.

"He should be back for the Auxerre game."

The packed pre-World Cup schedule has been heavily criticised amid a swathe of injuries to big-name players including Paul Pogba, Son Heung-min and Reece James, leading some onlookers to suggest players may play with caution ahead of the tournament.

While some coaches, including Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti and Tottenham's Antonio Conte, have said their players will not be thinking about the World Cup, Galtier revealed he regularly discusses such considerations with his own squad.

"We have played a lot, it is a very intense season, and that is the case for everyone, and we must not hide from that, of course, it generates fatigue," Galtier said.

"Usually, our last Champions League group game is in mid-December. Having so many weeks with Champions League games has taken up a lot of energy.

"There are no excuses, that's how it is. Of course, we are a bit tired, we are worn out. 

"Of course, every player that may be involved at the World Cup has that fear in their heads, even more so when the Champions League group stage has finished, with all those fixtures.

"You might have that in your head as a player. I often speak to the players and listen to them. We have to listen to them and they can tell us anything. 

"If someone is apprehensive, I tell them to have faith in what we put forward here in training. If a player comes to me and says they don't want to play, he won't play."

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