Barcelona superstar and captain Lionel Messi could be back in action as soon as this week when the club faces Inter in the Champions League on Wednesday night, with a recent groin injury not thought to be healing even quicker than originally expected.
Messi had already missed the four games of the new season with a different injury problem, but he suffered a setback in last week’s La Liga clash with Villarreal and was forced to miss the weekend win over Getafe as a result – Ansu Fati was also sidelined through injury.
The game against Villarreal six days ago was Messi’s first start of the season after two previous substitute appearances, but it frustratingly ended after just 45 minutes.
However, according to SPORT, his absence this time could be minimal and there is a chance that he could be involved against Inter on Wednesday, whether as a starter or from the bench.
Barcelona staff are still set to operate on the side of caution, though, and no final decision over his availability for Inter will be made until after training sessions on Monday and Tuesday. The club certainly has no intention to ‘risk’ Messi if there is any doubt about his fitness.
With Ousmane Dembele also currently out of action, Barcelona lined up with Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and Carles Perez as their front three against Getafe. Suarez and Brazilian fill-back Junior Firpo got the goals either side of half-time in the 2-0 win.
Having been held to a 0-0 draw with Borussia Dortmund on matchday one, Barcelona will be looking for a first Champions League win this season when Inter visit Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Inter, despite their incredibly strong start to the Serie A campaign, only narrowly avoided a home defeat to Slavia Prague on matchday one, with Nicolo Barella rescuing a point in stoppage time.