After sitting out Ligue 1 action this weekend, Lionel Messi will miss another match for Paris Saint-Germain.
Lionel Messi will miss Paris Saint-Germain’s UEFA Champions League clash with Benfica on Tuesday, but head coach Christophe Galtier expects the forward to return for next weekend’s game with Marseille.
The Argentina international missed the ill-tempered Ligue 1 clash with Reims at the weekend with a calf injury and was forced to watch out for a goalless draw.
Hopes that the 35-year-old could return in time for the crucial European clash with their Portuguese hosts have now also been dashed as Messi will miss out again.
But while Galtier confirmed he would be an expected absentee, he hinted that the striker is close to a return to action and could well feature in Le Classique on October 16.
“Messi felt discomfort in his calf in the first match against Benfica,” he said. “He thought he would be able to take part in tomorrow’s game but he would end up being limited.
“He is better, but still has an unpleasant feeling. He preferred to abstain. We will monitor his recovery, but it is very likely that he will be present against Marseille.”
Galtier acknowledged the loss of Messi was a blow, with the Argentine rediscovering his form after a difficult first season with PSG after leaving Barcelona, scoring five goals and providing seven assists in Ligue 1 this term.
“We know how important Leo is to our game, his form and the connection he can have with other players,” added Galtier. “We cannot be satisfied with his absence.
“But we will have to find other solutions and other connections where we can bring danger to Benfica’s defence.