Lionel Messi suffers injury scare two weeks before World Cup as Alphonso Davies limps off for Bayern Munich

Lionel Messi suffers injury scare two weeks before World Cup as Alphonso Davies limps off for Bayern Munich

Lionel Messi has been hit by injury concerns just two weeks before the start of the World Cup.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, who turned 35 in June, is preparing to grace football’s biggest stage for the final time in Qatar this winter as he attempts to guide reigning Copa America champions Argentina to their first global triumph since 1986.

Messi remains an indispensable and inspirational figure for his country, whose chances of ending that 36-year wait for a third World Cup title would plummet without their talismanic captain and national icon.

An injury scare to his key man is the last thing Argentine coach Lionel Scaloni would want with the Albiceleste’s first Group C contest against Saudi Arabia looming on November 22.

But Messi - along with France’s Presnel Kimpembe - has been left out of the Paris Saint-Germain squad that will travel to Lorient in a lunchtime kick-off on Sunday in a bid to extend their lead at the Ligue 1 summit to five points over second-placed Lens.

Injury scare: Argentina talisman Lionel Messi will not play for PSG against Lorient on Sunday (REUTERS)
Injury scare: Argentina talisman Lionel Messi will not play for PSG against Lorient on Sunday (REUTERS)

In a statement, PSG said the former Barcelona superstar was dealing with an Achilles issue but would be back in training next week in a mighty relief to Argentines everywhere.

"Leo Messi will remain in treatment for an inflamed Achilles tendon as a precautionary measure,” a PSG statement read. “He will resume collective training next week.”

After the meeting with Lorient, PSG will have just one game remaining before the mid-season World Cup break - a home clash with Auxerre at the Parc des Princes in Paris on November 13. Argentina are due to contest a pre-tournament friendly against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Abu Dhabi three days later.

Injuries and key absentees have inevitably been a major talking point before a World Cup taking place during the middle of a domestic season, with Canada now sweating over the fitness of Alphonso Davies after he limped out of Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga win at Hertha Berlin on Saturday with a hamstring strain.

Ben Chilwell, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Timo Werner, Pedro Neto, Diogo Jota and Jesus Corona are just some of the players to have been ruled out already through injury, with plenty more facing a race against time to be fit including Reece James, Heung-min Son, Romelu Lukaku, Kyle Walker and Ronald Araujo.

Argentina have had plenty of injury scares already, including to the likes of Angel Di Maria, Paulo Dybala, Cristian Romero, Leandro Paredes, Giovani Lo Celso and Juan Foyth.