Messi's Copa America campaign in jeopardy after back injury during friendly

San Juan: Argentine superstar Lionel Messi was replaced in the second half of Argentina's 1-0 warm-up win against Honduras with a back problem, days ahead of the Copa America Centenario football tournament.

Messi's Copa America in jeopardy. Reuters

Messi's Copa America in jeopardy. Reuters

The FC Barcelona star fell to the ground after being hit on his waist and had to be replaced in the 64th minute with Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega. Napoli Striker Gonzalo Higuain scored the only goal of the game after 31 minutes, converting from Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo's cross.

The Argentine Football Association released a statement stating that 'Messi suffered a trauma to the left side of his lower back and his rib cage'.

Messi joins Argentina on the back of a grueling La Liga campaign that saw his team Barcelona recapture the Spanish league title and also win the Copa del Rey. While Messi did not have the best of season's due to the emergence of striker Luis Suarez, the Blaugrana's dependence on the little Argentine still remains paramount.

The Argentine side managed by Gerardo Martino dominated from start to finish.

Messi's injury is not believed to be major, but neither the player nor his coach saw any sense in taking risks.

Messi is believed to be available when they face Chile in the opening match of the oldest international continental tournament, on Tuesday 7 June.

Chile suffered an unexpected 1-2 defeat to Jamaica on Friday.

Updated Date: May 28, 2016 22:19 PM

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