Lionel Messi tests positive for COVID-19
Lionel Messi and three Paris Saint-Germain team-mates have tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss time, the team announced on Sunday.
“The 4 players who tested positive for Covid-19 are Leo Messi, Juan Bernat, Sergio Rico and Nathan Bitumazala,” the French Ligue 1 club said in a statement. “They are currently in isolation and subject to appropriate health protocol.”
Paris Saint-Germain play Vannes in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France on Monday. The club return to the pitch to play Lyon on January 9th.
Messi, a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, has tested positive in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina. It’s uncertain if Messi could clear the logs and travel in time to return to the January 9 game.
“Messi has been in regular contact with our medical team and if he tests negative he will travel to France, but that’s all we know. I don’t know if he will be there against Lyon.” ‘ coach Mauricio Pochettino told reporters.
“Until he gets a negative test in Argentina, he cannot travel to France. So it all depends on the test when he can travel… we’ll judge when he’s ready to play.”
The club also announced that Neymar will remain in Brazil and be treated by members of PSG’s medical and performance staff. His return to training is about three weeks away. Neymar suffered a leg injury in October and a gruesome ankle injury in late November.
Messi tests positive for COVID-19
34-year-old Messi joined the club in August after spending his entire professional career at Barcelona, where he also played at youth level. He has one goal in eleven league games and five more goals in five Champions League games.
Bernat, a full-back, tested positive when he came to training from vacation. Back-up goalkeeper Rico and youthful midfielder Bitumazala will also miss time.
Similar to the United States, France is seeing a daily spike in new COVID-19 cases. The country reported 219,126 new cases on Saturday, marking the fourth consecutive day that there have been at least 200,000 new cases. The seven-day moving average of new cases stands at 157,651, nearly five times the level a month ago, according to Reuters.