Barcelona, Spain – Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi could play this weekend, despite a major injury scare Wednesday in Champions League play.
Messi, the reigning three-time world player of the year and favorite to win a fourth straight, collided with Benfica goalie Artur Moraes in the 84th minute and was taken off on a cart with what he initially feared was a knee injury.
Barcelona confirmed Thursday it was just a knee bruise.
"The truth is I did not think about anything because all I could feel was the pain," Messi said. "But in a moment I thought the worst. When it was shown it was not a severe injury I was calmer."
The 25-year-old Messi entered the match one goal shy of Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year, and down played suggestions he should not have played in the match with Barcelona already guaranteed first in its group.
"As I have always said, for me the record is not an obsession," Messi said. "If it doesn't happen, it doesn't matter. But we are close so we will try."
Barcelona plays Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday, and Messi has not ruled out playing in the match.
"I feel fine, but I don't know yet if I will be available for Sunday," Messi said. "I'll see."