Lionel Messi has been described as “lively” in training as reports grow that the Barcelona superstar could return to action in Saturday’s Clasico with Real Madrid.
Messi sustained a knee ligament injury against Las Palmas on September 26 and has been sidelined ever since.
In his absence, Barcelona have won four and drawn one of their last five La Liga games and sit top of the table ahead of the meeting with second-placed Real Madrid.
But he’s spent the past few days training with Barca’s second team as he continues his recovery from the injury and amid growing claims he could make the bench, at least, for Saturday’s match against their fierce rivals.
Barcelona B coach Gerard Lopez says the player has made big strides over his time with the B side.
“Leo completed the training sessions. I saw him well, and I’m happy that his recovery seems positive. I see him content and lively,” Lopez said.
“For the youth players it was a great excitement to be able to train with the best player in history, although some often go up to train with the first team and are used to being with him.
“Messi adapted to our training and that included joining in the tactical aspects to prepare for the game. I’m delighted that he could take advantage of the two sessions with us and didn’t miss two days of work of his recovery.
“I don’t know if he’ll be there on Saturday, but I see him well, content and I hope he can get back as soon as possible. It’s a pity I couldn’t call him up for our game.”
Barcelona defender Adriano has also backed his team-mate to be included in the Clasico squad, telling Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo last week: “He is recovering very well, doing everything to get to the game and to have him in the team changes a lot.
“There’s a difference when he plays or doesn’t, but in his absence we’ve managed to come together and move forward in matches.
“Every day he’s been the Leo we’re accustomed to: laughing, joking, and doing things with confidence. Would I put money on him playing in the Clasico? Hopefully, yes.”
However, Argentina’s doctor Homero de Agostino said last week the player would be putting himself at risk of a serious long-term injury by returning too soon in the game.