Kidney stones are not pleasant. Some people experience severe inhibitions by filling gallons of water and then producing Ibuprofen. Some prefer to gather in the abdomen, crying out in the heavens and begging for the sweet release of death.
Lionel Messi, on the other hand, has faced stones in the same way he has faced many challenges that come his way: scoring certain goals.
“Leo Messi has played three games with a stone in his kidney,” Dr. Francisco Ruiz Marcellan told Catalan television, according to ESPN FC’s Dermot Corrigan. “You have played with tricks as you have not fired.”
The Barcelona striker was ruled out of his Club World Cup semi-final against Guangzhou Evergrande last December with renal colic, a type of abdominal pain usually caused by kidney stones, but returned three days later in the final against River Plate. He scored the opening goal of the game 10 minutes before half-time to lead the Blaugrana to a 3-0 victory.
After the Club World Cup, Messi tested Barca’s 12 goals in 11 games in all competitions before receiving medical treatment last month. Ruiz Marcellan, urology chief at Instituto Dexeus, said the Argentine had played with pain in the three games.
Messi made the procedure on February 9 and then sat for the next Copa del Rey game against Valencia, but it didn’t take him long to get back. The 28-year-old scored a goal and assisted two others in a 6-1 win over Celta Vigo at the Camp Nou on February 14.
Catalan sports newspaper Mundo Deportivo reported that Messi’s treatment involved extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), a non-invasive procedure that uses large waves.
“It’s a powerful force that produces the power to destroy a stone,” said Ruiz Marcellan.
It may not be the last time a FIFA World Cup player has faced this issue.
“With genetic predisposition, it is very easy for her to have between two and eight kidney stones in her kidneys until she is 50 years old,” said Ruiz Marcella.
However, Messi’s genetic predisposition also suggests that he may continue to score goals with a sword drawn from his waist. So do not expect any medical treatment to slow him down anytime soon.