BARCELONA: Leo Messi can maintain his bid to outscore the legendary Gerd Muller despite having been carried off with a knee injury during Barcelona’s Champions League draw with Benfica.

The Argentinian needs one goal to reach 85 for 2012 and equal the calendar year record set by the great West German and Bayern Munich striker in 1972. He was injured after appearing as a substitute during Wednesday’s game which confirmed Barcelona’s place in the second round of the competition.

Benfica were eliminated because of Celtic’s success in defeating Moscow Spartak.

A Barcelona statement said: “Tests carried out tonight have confirmed that the player has a bruising of the bone on the outside of the left knee. The rate of his recovery will determine whether he will be available for the next game, on Sunday against Real Betis.”

The World Player of the Year was injured in a collision with Benfica goalkeeper Artur.

He has remained remarkably injury-free during his stellar career. The last injury of any important was in September 2010 when he injured an ankle in a game against Atletico de Madrid and missed Barcelona’s next two games.

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