Barcelona captain and living legend Lionel Messi has returned to training following a short layoff as a result of the fractured arm he suffered during the win over Sevilla earlier this month.

Messi was forced to miss his first Clásico for 11 years last weekend, and had earlier missed a Champions League clash with Inter.

But after only 11 days out of action, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner was on the training pitch on Wednesday for light work with Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique, both of whom were left out of a rotated travelling squad named to face Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey.

A number of senior players are to be rested for the trip to Leon, with Philippe Coutinho, Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic only doing gym work on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Sergio Busquets and Marc-Andre ter Stegen were given permission to have the day off completely.


Messi was initially expected to be sidelined for three weeks when his arm fracture was diagnosed. But while he is at least starting to train, it remains to be seen how long it will be before he is considered fit enough to get back playing matches.

18-Man Barcelona Squad for Wednesday's Copa del Rey Clash with Cultural Leonesa:

Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen, Inaki Pena

Defenders: Nelson Semedo, Clement Lenglet, Jorge Cuenca, Juan Miranda, Chumi

Midfielders: Denis Suarez, Arthur, Rafinha, Sergi Samper, Sergi Roberto, Arturo Vidal, Carles Alena, Riqui Puig

Forwards: Ousmane Dembele, Malcom, Munir El Haddadi

Barça are set to face Rayo Vallecano in La Liga at the weekend, followed by the reverse Champions League fixture against Inter next Tuesday night.