Messi allays fears over knee injury

Indo Asian News Service

Madrid, Dec 7 (IANS) FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi spoke about the moments of worry he felt after going down clutching his knee during Wednesday night's Champions League tie against Benfica.

Messi collided with Benfica keeper Artur, before turning to shoot and immediately collapsed on the turn, reports Xinhua.

He was carried off on a stretcher and most feared he had suffered a serious knee injury, although tests later ruled that out. Speaking at a publicity event Thursday, Messi said there was nothing serious in his knock, but admitted he had been worried when it had happened.

"I finished the move shooting at goal, because I thought it was going to be the last time I touched a ball in a long time," said Messi.

"When I went off on the stretcher, I feared the worst because of the pain. I thought I was going to be out of action for a long time. Now I feel OK, fortunately it was just a knock," he added.

Messi trained in the gym Thursday and could play against Real Betis at the weekend, as he seeks to beat Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year, at the moment he has 84.

"I am not certain if I will be there Sunday, it depends on how it evolves," he said, unworried that his absence would be a problem to a side that has won 13 out of 14 games so far this season.

"The team will be the same with or without me. We have a lot of players," said Messi, who said Muller's record was not an obsession, although he admitted, "it would be nice to break it, as it has been there for such a long time."