Messi avoids serious injury ahead of Copa America opener


Lionel Messi has been cleared of serious injury after hurting his ribs and back in Argentina's final Copa America Centenario warm-up fixture on Friday.

Messi hobbled off the pitch in pain just after hour-mark in Argentina's 1-0 win over Honduras in San Juan, with the Argentine Football Association (AFA) later confirming the captain suffered rib and back contusions.

The 28-year-old was visibly distressed after copping a knock to the lower-back area and receiving treatment on the ground before being substituted.

However, the AFA gave no indication on a recovery time ahead of Argentina's Copa opener against defending champions Chile on June 6.

Prior to Messi undergoing CT scans at a local hospital, Argentina coach Gerardo Martino admitted he was concerned about Messi.

"Messi had a nasty blow to the lower back and we are doing studies," Martino said post-match. 

"I cannot give a diagnosis, it was very sore. He had a heavy blow. 

"I have to wait for the diagnosis to give details, but we are always concerned about Leo."

After facing Chile, last year's runners-up Argentina take on Panama (June 10) and Bolivia (June 14) in Group D.