Madrid: Barcelona's Argentine star Lionel Messi missed his country's friendly against Costa Rica due to a leg injury that could also keep him out of this weekend's league match against Villareal, the club said on Wednesday.
"Pains in the abductor muscle of his right leg prevented Leo Messi from taking part in Argentina's friendly against Costa Rica" on Tuesday, Barcelona said on its website.
The match in San Jose ended in a 0-0 draw.
The 23-year-old, who won the world player of the year award in January for the second successive year, is also doubtful for the Spanish champion's match against Villareal on Saturday.
"The injury does not appear to be serious although we will have to wait for tests which are to be undertaken in Barcelona to get a definitive diagnosis" before deciding whether he can play against Villareal.
The striker, who has scored 27 league goals for Barcelona this season, is to return to Spain on Thursday, just two days before the match.
The Catalan giants have a lead of five points over nearest rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish league before the two sides go head-to-head next month.