Messi doubtful for derby
Barca waiting on the results of medical tests
By Francisco Acedo. Last Updated: December 10, 2009 11:02pm
Messi: Ankle injury
Lionel Messi is a major doubt for Barcelona ahead of their derby date with Espanyol on Saturday.
The recently crowned European Footballer of the Year suffered an ankle injury during midweek duty in the UEFA Champions League.
The Argentina superstar grabbed Barca's winner in their 2-1 victory over Dynamo Kiev, but hobbled from the field late on after taking a knock.
A crunching challenge from Brazilian defender Almeida caused the damage, leaving Messi in considerable pain.
Barca medics have carried out tests on the area in question but are not due to announce their results until Friday.
That leaves Pep Guardiola facing an anxious wait before finding out whether he will be forced to do without the services of his talismanic playmaker this weekend.
Barca play host to local rivals Espanyol on Saturday looking to preserve their standing at the top of the Primera Liga table.
They are, however, set to compete in the World Club Cup later this month and will be keen to have Messi available for their assault on the global crown.