Lionel Messi

Barcelona?s Lionel Messi has escaped serious injury after being carried off on a stretcher during Wednesday?s Champions League draw with Benfica.

Messi hurt his left knee in a collision and was taken off 30 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute.

But tests revealed nothing worse than bruising and he was able to train in the Barca gym on Thursday morning.

?I sincerely thought it was the last ball I?d touch for a long time because of the pain,? the 25-year-old said.

Having already been guaranteed to go through as group winners, Barca left their prized asset on the bench at the Nou Camp.

The Argentina international has scored 84 goals in 2012 and is chasing Gerd Mueller?s record of 85 in a calendar year which he set while playing for Bayern Munich and West Germany in 1972.

Messi is not expected to play in Sunday?s match at Real Betis, but Barcelona have La Liga games against Atletico Madrid and Real Valladolid, and a Copa del Rey tie with Cordoba in December for him to attempt to break the record.

Benfica knew a win would see them finish second behind Barca, but the Portuguese side missed several early chances and the 0-0 draw plus Celtic?s win over Spartak Moscow saw the Scottish champions qualify instead.

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