We will not rush Messi back, says Barcelona sporting director

Catalan chief Andoni Zubizarreta insists the club will give the Argentina international as much time as he needs to recover from his latest hamstring problem
Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta says Lionel Messi will not be rushed back from his latest injury.

The Argentina international suffered a hamstring tear in Sunday's La Liga win over Real Betis, and the club confirmed on Monday that the forward will be out for up to two months.

Zubizarreta, though, insists that there is no set date for the forward’s return and says that Messi will not play again until he is fully fit.

“It is never nice when a player succumbs to injury,” the former Barca goalkeeper told reporters.

“We’re going to take care of [Messi], and make sure he is 100 per cent when he returns.

“We must see the extent of the injury and define recovery times.  We will not rush to get him back.”

Zubizarreta is calling on the rest of the Barcelona team to step up in Messi's absence, including star summer signing Neymar, who netted in the 4-0 win over Betis.

“Neymar is still growing and learning what it takes to succeed in the Spanish league and create danger, but he is slowly emerging," the ex-Spain international enthused.

Zubizarreta also commented on goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who he felt put in an excellent performance in Seville.

“The match was very difficult. Betis created many problems. They stole the ball very high up the field," he added.

“Victor had to make many stops, which proved he is one of the best in the world. He is always focused and, when involved, he is critical.”