Messi gifts injured Ham consolation jersey

Buenos Aires, Oct 14 (IANS) Argentinian football star and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi sent an autographed jersey with his signature No. 10 to fellow footballer Ezequiel Ham, who is convalescing in hospital from a broken right leg.

“This gift rates a 10! Thanks Leo,” Ham, 21, posted on his Instagram account, along with a picture of the prized jersey, reported Xinhua.

Ham, a midfielder for team Argentinos Juniors sustained fractures to his shinbone and fibula after Boca Juniors forward Carlos Tevez tackled him during a September 19 match.

Despite the bone-breaking takedown, Tevez was not carded by the referee. He did, however, visit the injured player at the hospital the following Monday to apologize.

“Thanks for coming Carlitos,” and “you’ll always be the best,” were the messages Ham posted after being visited by his football idol, whose aggressive play has raised the ire of not just Ham’s family, but many football fans.

Ham has already undergone two operations and is expected to take at least eight months to recover fully enough to return to the field.

The young player has been showered with attention from both colleagues and fans. Diego Maradona addressed a video message to Ham, wishing him a speedy recovery and recalling his own serious injury when playing for Barcelona. He also defended Tevez from the criticism.

Tevez said after the game he was going after the ball and didn’t mean to injure Ham.

Boca Juniors won the game against Argentinos Juniors 3-1.

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