Soccer

Lionel Messi leaves Honduras match with back injury

SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA- MAY 27: Lionel Messi of Argentina leaves the field after being injuried during an international friendly match between Argentina and Honduras at Bicentenario de San Juan Stadium on May 27, 2016 in San Juan, Argentina. (Photo by Marcos Carrizo/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA- MAY 27: Lionel Messi of Argentina leaves the field after being injuried during an international friendly match between Argentina and Honduras at Bicentenario de San Juan Stadium on May 27, 2016 in San Juan, Argentina. (Photo by Marcos Carrizo/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi left the field with a back injury in the second half of a 1-0 victory over Honduras in a friendly Friday night.

The Argentine team captain and Barcelona star was hit on an apparently inconsequential play and immediately went to the locker room. He was replaced at the 62-minute mark by Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega and never returned to the field.

''Messi suffered a trauma to the left side of his lower back and rib cage,'' the Argentine Football (Soccer) Association said in a statement, adding that doctors were looking at the injury.

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Messi is not a player who leaves the field with minor injuries like he did Friday at San Juan's Bicentenario stadium.

''I would not dare to venture a diagnosis,'' said a concerned Argentine manager, Gerardo Martino.

Gonzalo Higuain, who scored for Argentina, said it ''was an important win and here's hoping that what happened to Leo is nothing.''

Messi was scheduled to fly to Spain to resolve a tax issue and then rejoin the team in Santa Clara, California.