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The Argentina international is facing up to eight weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring tear, after being blighted by thigh problems last season.

Barcelona's former chief medic Jordi Ardevol believes that Lionel Messi's latest injury setback is the result of the attacker's failure to take sufficient time out to recover from last season's thigh problems.

On Tuesday, the Blaugrana confirmed that their star forward would be out of action for up to two months with a hamstring tear sustained in last weekend's win over Betis.

It is the third time that Messi has been sidelined this season and Ardevol believes that his current problems are directly related to the thigh injuries which troubled him during the closing stages of last term.

"After a player is injured, there is a period in which the head stays with the injury and that until the injury is completely recovered and the sensations are normal, you have to disengage the brain from the muscle somehow," the doctor told Esports Cope.

"The focus is on playing again and there is a period in which the player does not take it out of his head. During the break, after the injury late last season, I believe that Leo should have had a more specific plan. The feeling is that he was never entirely clear, there have been some intermittent periods of activity and mentally the counter was not put back to '0'."

Consequently, Ardevol feels that Barcelona should this time make sure that Messi is fully fit before he sets foot back on a football field.

“He should not come back until he is 100 percent recovered,” the medic declared. “That is what I would do, although it is very easy to say this when you are on the outside. However, there are many factors that influence things - the desire to play as soon as possible, the team’s needs, the pressure in the environment both sporting and commercially, with the World Cup in sight.

“There are many things at the club to manage so as to make it very complicated. His recovery to full form? You have to put the counter at ‘0’. With a necessary rest period and with a specific training program required. Start from ‘0’ so as to return to optimal conditions.”

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