Lionel Messi hopes leg injury sustained during Argentina's Copa America win over Chile not serious

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Lionel Messi hopes a leg injury sustained during Argentina’s 1-0 Copa America win over Chile is “nothing serious”.

Playing a day after his 37th birthday, the Argentina superstar received treatment on the thigh area of his right leg for nearly two minutes after getting kicked by Gabriel Suazo in the 24th minute on Tuesday night.

Messi, however, stayed on the field as the defending champion clinched a quarterfinal berth.

He told reporters after the match that it was “nothing serious”. Messi added: “It’s bothering me a little bit but I was able to finish the match. It was hard for me to move freely, particularly side to side. We’ll see tomorrow how it feels.”

Messi said he’s also been dealing with a sore throat and fever in recent days.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said during his post-game news conference that he had not spoken with Messi but wasn’t concerned about the injury.

Scaloni cited Messi sprinting half the length of the field along with Ángel Di María and Lautaro Martínez late in the game.

“That’s my last image,” Scaloni said.

Martínez scored the only goal following a scramble in the 88th minute after a corner by Messi.

Scaloni said he’s planning to rest several starters in Argentina’s last Group A match, against Peru on Saturday in Florida.

Argentina will win the group unless it loses to Peru in Miami Gardens and Canada beats Chile in a game played simultaneously in Orlando.

The Canadians can overtake Argentina on goal difference. Argentina is on plus-three and Canada minus-one.


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