Argentina coach, Edgardo Bauza, has claimed that Barcelona are not treating Lionel Messi well and expressed his doubt his captain will be fit for next month’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Messi was taken off injured on Wednesday, during Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid, with the club confirming he suffered a torn right abductor. He is expected to miss the next three weeks.
Bauza blasted the La Liga champions, for playing Messi in four games within 12 days.
“Barcelona always sends us messages saying that we must take care of Messi, but they don’t take care of him very well,” Bauza told Fox Sports.
“It is strange that they make him play in all their matches.”
Bauza revealed that Messi was already struggling with the injury against Uruguay in September. After missing Argentina’s next match against Venezuela, he played in four straight games for Barca against Alaves, Celtic, Leganes and Atletico Madrid.
“We received the official report from Barcelona. To us, that seems strange because three weeks is not enough time to repair a torn adductor,” Bauza told ESPN Radio.
“We haven’t yet been able to speak with him, but we want to know how serious the injury is.
“Barcelona have made it more complicated for us. They posted an official statement and at the moment that is all we have to go on. Our team doctors are waiting on the MRI to know the official grade of the injury.”
“Apparently, studies have been done and we are waiting on those results, which will be sent to our national team doctors. That way we will have a more definitive answer.”
The coach is not counting on Messi for their trip to Peru on october 6 and their home fixture against Paraguay five days later.
“I am thinking that Messi is not going to be able to play in the qualifiers,” he said.
“But we hope that it is nothing serious and that in three weeks he returns to action. But I am thinking about playing these matches without him.
“Tactically, there isn’t much we could change without him. I have various options, which we will evaluate once we have all the players.
“Down the right side, we could even use [Paulo] Dybala, or even [Angel] Di Maria, Augusto Fernandez, [Erik] Lamela or [Nicolas] Gaitan. We must wait until they arrive to see who is in better shape.”