The Argentina star pulled up in discomfort after shrugging off pressure from Atletico captain Diego Godin early in the second half. Messi attempted to play on but was eventually substituted for Arda Turan.
Barcelona have already announced that Messi has in fact reinjured his groin and will be out for three weeks. Messi will miss his team’s next two home games in La Liga as well as their visit to Borrusia Monchengladbach next Wednesday. He will stay in Barcelona during the international break and should return on October 15 against Deportivo. Four days later Pep Guardiola will be in town for the first of City’s double header with Barcelona in Champions League Group C.
‘Without Messi football loses but we have the squad to cope as we did when he was out last year,’ said Luis Enrique.
City will hope the Barcelona forward, who has torn the abductor muscle in his right leg, returns rusty and not refreshed as they take on the Spanish champions pegged back here by an intense Atletico Madrid side who look ready to play a big part in the title race this season.
The 29-year-old’s withdrawal occurred just eight minutes after Sergio Busquets was taken off for Andre Gomes, though it was unclear if the Spain international had also sustained an injury.