The season hasn't started the way Lionel Messi wanted, as the Argentinean superstar is yet to be featured in any official matches with Barcelona due to a nagging injury.
The calf injury he sustained was supposed to be considered minor but the team has delayed his comeback for weeks now, and he's already been ruled out of the Catalans' home clash vs. Valencia.
And to make things even worse, Ernesto Valverde hinted at the possibility that Messi will also miss their UEFA Champions League debut vs. Borussia Dortmund:
"I'm not a doctor but it seems that the scar was opened a little and that made us more cautious. In terms of him being able to return, I don't know if it will be Tuesday or maybe later. I don't want to say anything to lower expectations, but I find it difficult for Tuesday," Valverde said during a press conference,
Moreover, the Spanish boss went on to laud Messi by claiming the team will always need a player like him, but also showed his confidence in his squad to step up in his absence:
"Leo's loss is always noticeable, but there are other players who must step forward. Antoine (Griezmann) has already scored a couple of goals, and we hope he is able to continue. There have been times when (Messi) has not been available and we have kept going. When he had that problem with his arm (last season), the team responded well. We want him to return soon, but also to return well," he concluded.
Messi has also drawn some attention because of his refusal to sign a contract extension with Barcelona, with the possibility of making a move to the MLS in the future looming around.
Still, there's nothing to worry about in that regard, at least for the time being, and he'll have to focus entirely on getting back to full strength first before thinking of the future.