Barcelona confirm Lionel Messi out of Malaga clash

However, manager Gerardo Martino refused to confirm that Messi's absence would mean a first start in a Barca shirt for Neymar.

updated: August 24, 2013 17:46 IST
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Barcelona: Lionel Messi will miss Barcelona's Spanish league game at Malaga on Sunday while he recovers from a muscle injury in his left leg.

Barcelona said on Saturday that even though Messi's "progress is satisfactory," coach Gerard Martino left the Argentina forward out of his squad as a "precaution."

"We are optimistic, but it's risky to play him again three days later with the league just under way," said Martino. "I think Messi is fine and I'm not worried about what has happened or what's being said. He prepared well during the summer holidays. What happened the other day was a coincidence."

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