Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino confirmed on Sunday that Lionel Messi will miss the start of the 2022 schedule, beginning with Monday's French Cup match against Vannes, while he remains in Argentina after testing positive for Covid-19.
He said: "We've been living with this virus for two years now and everyone knows what we need to avoid. But beyond that, there are some things that we can't control with the virus. We can still catch it even if we take every possible precaution. As for Leo Messi, Leo is in direct contact with the medical services at the club, and for the match of Lyon (on 9th January)... we don't know."
As Messi will not be able to travel until he tests negative, Pochettino was unable to give a date for his possible return to action.
Messi is one of four PSG players who have tested positive following the winter break. Juan Bernat, Sergio Rico and Nathan Bitumazala are also affected, while Neymar is continuing his recovery from injury in Brazil.
Pochettino also gave an update on Kylian Mbappe, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid when his PSG contract expires at the end of the season.
"The club wants Kylian to stay for a long time," insisted the PSG boss, adding that the French forward is mature enough to deal with the uncertainty surrounding his future.
PSG will travel to face fourth-tier Vannes in a French Cup round of 32 match on Monday.