FC Barcelona super-striker Lionel Messi will be out of action for between six and eight weeks due to a left hamstring injury, the Spanish club said.

The Argentine four-time world player of the year will undergo his first phase of treatment in Barcelona and the second in Buenos Aires.

Messi injured himself in the first half of Sunday's Spanish-league game against Real Betis. On Monday morning, he underwent an ultrasound at Barça's training ground that revealed the hamstring tear.

The injury is Messi's third since the start of the season, following a left thigh injury during Spain's Supercopa in August that forced him to miss a week of action and a right thigh injury during a league match against Almeria on Sept. 28 that kept him out for three weeks.

Messi was lacking some velocity in his first games back after the second injury, but he was back at his best level in Barça's 3-1 win last week over AC Milan in Champions League play.

Barcelona qualified for the knockout phase of that tournament with the win.

The Blaugrana, meanwhile, are in first place in the Spanish league, three points ahead of Atletico Madrid after 13 games.

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