Superstar Barcelona striker Lionel Messi will be sidelined 6-8 weeks with a torn hamstring, the team announced on its website on Monday.
Messi, the World Player of the Year the past four years in a row, suffered the injury during Barca's 4-1 win over Real Betis on Sunday. The Argentine star had scored 14 goals in his 16 games this season.
The team released a statement, which read, "According to the club's medical services, the tests taken on Monday morning by Leo Messi have confirmed that the player has suffered a torn muscle in the femoral biceps of his left leg."
The injury will keep the 26-year-old Messi out of both of Argentina's upcoming friendlies against Ecuador and Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as up to eight matches for Barcelona.
The first phase of Messi's recovery will take place in Barcelona, according to the team, and he will then travel to Buenos Aires for the remainder of his rehabilitation.
This is Messi's third injury this season. He suffered a bruised thigh during an Aug. 21 game that kept him out a week. He then sustained a small tear in his right thigh in a game in September that sidelined him for three weeks.
The player who may benefit from Messi's injury is Real Madrid and Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo. He has finished as runner-up to Messi as player of the year three times.
On Saturday against Real Sociedad Ronaldo got his fourth hat-trick of the season in all competitions.