Lionel Messi to miss Argentina’s Copa America opener due to injury

A back injury recently sustained by Argentina’s Lionel Messi will keep the star soccer player off the field for the country’s Copa America Centenario opener versus Chile on Monday night, per a report from Spanish Daily Diario AS.

Messi was injured when he was kneed in the torso during a 1-0 victory over Honduras on May 27.

The five-time world soccer player of the year will be replaced by Benfica midfielder Nicolas Gaitan, according to a statement made by Argentina manager Gerardo Martini on Sunday.

Martino claimed to be optimistic that Messi would make his return to the team’s starting lineup in the upcoming contest against Panama on Friday evening, Argentina’s second Copa America game.

Argentina vs. Chile in the Copa America Group Stage is set to kickoff at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. at 10 p.m. ET.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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