How Lionel Messi's latest injury compares to past ailments

by
Sergio Perez / REUTERS

The football world received a devastating blow Saturday with news that Lionel Messi will miss up to eight weeks after suffering a knee injury in the opening minutes of Barcelona's win over Las Palmas.

It's rare for the seemingly invincible Argentine superstar to miss time because of an injury, but Messi looks set to spend more time on the sidelines than he's experienced in over three years.

Related: Lionel Messi to miss 7-8 weeks with torn knee ligament

The seven-to-eight weeks projected for his return could eclipse his last major bout with an injury, when a torn hamstring saw him miss two months of action during the 2013-14 season.

Here's a rundown of the significant ailments that have interrupted Messi's illustrious career:

2006 - Metatarsal fracture (missed 88 days - 19 games)

By far one of his most severe injuries occurred when Messi was a teenager quickly evolving into one of the world's best players. The 19-year-old missed three months of action when he sustained a metatarsal fracture. He did, however, recover in time to appear in the final league Clasico, becoming the first player from either team to record a hat trick in that match in 12 years.

2007 - Torn hamstring (31 days - 8 games)

Less than a year after missing three months through injury, Messi found himself in the doctor's office once again thanks to a torn hamstring suffered during the penultimate game before the Spanish winter break. Celtic may have hoped the ailment kept him out a little longer - Messi went on to score a brace against the Scottish outfit in his first game back during a Champions League Round of 16 encounter.

2008 - Thigh muscle strain (38 days - 9 games)

Messi was only back in action for two months before injuring himself in the return leg against Celtic in March. He was replaced in the first half and left the pitch in tears. He wouldn't return until April, virtually finishing Barca's aspirations of capturing silverware, as it would fail to win any trophies.

2013 - Torn hamstring (59 days - 11 games)

Thanks to the winter break, the torn hamstring Messi experienced during a La Liga match against Real Betis only saw him miss 11 matches. It was one of a handful of injuries Messi suffered that season, but the ailments didn't prevent the football wizard from winning a stunning fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or.

(Stats courtesy: Transfermarkt)