Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is likely to undergo a minor kidney operation on Tuesday, according to reports in the Spanish media.
Messi, 28, missed the Club World Cup semifinal in December due to renal colic, a type of abdominal pain commonly caused by kidney stones, and will undergo further tests to be certain of the severity of ailment.
The five-time ballon d’Or winner featured for 90 minutes in Barca’s 2-0 win at Levante on Sunday, but was reportedly excused from training with the team on Monday and is a doubt for the club’s Copa del Rey semifinal second leg against Valencia on Wednesday.
Spanish daily Sport writes: “FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi will undergo several tests on Monday and Tuesday to assess the evolution of the kidney problems he suffered last December. Messi will return to his normal duties with the first team on Wednesday.”
The defending Copa del Rey champions take a commanding 7-0 lead to the Mestella with Messi grabbing a hat-trick and Luis Suarez four in the Camp Nou rout.
Barcelona released a statement Monday explaining that Messi’s absence is due to “several tests” regarding his kidneys, but stopped short of saying he was having surgery:
“Leo Messi will be submitted for different tests on Monday and Tuesday to assess the development of the kidney problems suffered in December.
“On Wednesday the player will return to training with the first team.”
Messi has missed just one game for Luis Enrique’s men this year, as Barca have won 10 and drawn just one in all competitions.