Lionel Messi has been out for the last several weeks recovering from a hamstring injury.
Manu Fernandez/AP

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino says Lionel Messi has returned to fitness from his injury layoff, but won't play his star forward in Sunday's league game.

Martino says ''from what I see (Messi) is excited to play, he is fit, with the eyes of a killer,'' but he still ''lacks playing time.''

Messi trained with his teammates this week for the first time since tearing his left hamstring in November and spending time in Argentina doing rehab.

While Messi improves his fitness, goalkeeper Victor Valdes made the squad for Sunday's game against Elche. Valdes hasn't played for six weeks since injuring his right leg.

Xavi Hernandez also returns from injury, while Dani Alves is out with a fever.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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