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Valverde 'Calm' Over Messi Injury as Star Returns to Barcelona Training

Lionel Messi missed friendlies against Italy and Spain but isn't expected to miss much time, if any, for Barcelona.
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Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has played down Lionel Messi's injury concerns after the 30-year-old missed both of Argentina's friendlies against Italy and Spain.

The five time Ballon d'Or winner returned to training on Thursday but is set to be continually assessed by the club's medical staff ahead of La Blaugrana's trip to Sevilla on Saturday, as concerns over a minor hamstring strain continue to linger following his absence from action during the international break. 

Despite La Liga title still on the line, a Champions League quarter final and Copa del Rey final to contend with in the immediate future, Valverde remains unconcerned over the injury cloud hovering above his star player. 

"I'm calm about Messi's injury," he said, as quoted by Goal

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"Messi finished the last game with Athletic Bilbao well, it is true that he had a little trouble, but it was nothing important. I still do not know what we are going to do, we think and hope it is not important.

"We are not going to worry before time, when the doctors see him we will decide the steps to follow, but we think it is not important."

ESPN's Barcelona correspondent, Samuel Marsden, revealed on Twitter that Messi had only featured in the first half of training on Thursday, with a decision on his ability to feature on the weekend likely to be made on Friday. 

In other news, goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who was also considered a doubt for the trip to Sevilla after picking up a knee injury during the international break with Germany which resulted in his absence during his side's 1-0 loss to Brazil on Tuesday, returned to training to boost his chances of featuring on Saturday. 

Gerard Pique also took part in training despite concerns over a lingering knee injury, joining both Nelson Semedo and Denis Saurez as potential candidates to feature on Saturday.