Messi scores in practice day after minor injury

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Lionel Messi scored in practice with Argentina, one day after he was slowed by a minor injury to his right knee in another training session.

Messi had one goal, Carlos Tevez two and Angel Di Maria one against an Argentine youth team Saturday.

Messi limped off the field on Friday after colliding with captain Javier Mascherano and was missing for 25 minutes before the medical staffed signaled his injury was minor.

"The truth is we were all scared for a few minutes," Argentina coach Diego Maradona said.

Argentina plays Canada on Monday in Buenos Aries in its last warmup before its World Cup opener against Nigeria on June 12.

Messi played on Saturday for 50 minutes and seemed to move easily. He left the field without commenting to reporters.

Maradona said Messi was fit to play against Canada, but he said the decision would be left to the Barcelona forward.

Much of Argentina's success in the World Cup may depend on Messi, the reigning FIFA player of the year who has yet to produce for the national team as he has for Barcelona.

Messi is likely to team up front with Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain and Manchester City's Tevez.

"We need to do a lot before the first match, but you have to show in practice you are ready to go," said Tevez, who was voted in a recent poll as Argentina's most popular player. Messi was No. 5.

"It will be up to Diego to decide who is best."

Argentina, the 1978 and 1986 World Cup champion, practiced Saturday with most of its 23-man squad and was missing only three who were playing in the Champions League final in Madrid — Walter Samuel and Diego Milito of Inter Milan and Martin Demichelis of Bayern Munich.

In addition to Nigeria in Group B, Argentina also faces South Korea and Greece.