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Valverde unsure how long latest Messi injury will keep Barcelona star out

18:03 GMT+3 27/09/2019
Lionel Messi vs Villarreal
The Argentina star set is set to miss Saturday's trip to Getafe and Blaugrana do not know when he will be fit to resume his injury-ravaged season

Barcelona are still no nearer to knowing when Lionel Messi can get his injury-hit campaign under way again.

The Argentina international has had a stop-start opening to the season and will definitely miss Saturday's La Liga visit to Getafe.

Messi missed the opening four games of the Liga season due to a calf injury before making his seasonal debut off the bench in the Champions League draw at Borussia Dortmund.

He then played 45 minutes as a second–half substitute in the 2-0 defeat at Granada before being forced off at half-time in Tuesday’s 2-1 home win over Villarreal.

And ahead of Saturday’s away day, manager Ernesto Valverde was still reluctant to go into too much detail over the extent of Messi’s injury.

"I don't know how long he will be out,” he said. “We hope he will be with the team soon. It is not serious, it is a small strain and we will see next week how everything goes.

“If he is [playing] we have strengths and if he does not then we lack an absolutely decisive player. But we have resources to manage. It is a setback but we must continue."

Meanwhile, Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal continues to cut a frustrated figure after being restricted to four brief outings from the bench so far this season.

But when pressed on the future of the 32-year-old former Bayern Munich, Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen star Valverde emphasised: “I do not know what will happen because I do not know what will happen in the future.

“He is participating and there are many people in the centre of midfield and everyone knew this. I have not found the formula to play with 11 midfielders, it is impossible for me.”

Barcelona are already five points behind Liga leaders Real Madrid after six matches of the new season but could close the gap this weekend with Madrid facing city rivals Atletico on Saturday.

Diego Simeone's side are currently third in the table, level on points with Real Sociedad having lost just one of their matches so far this term.