Barcelona received a major boost in training on Thursday as Lionel Messi took part with the rest of the group amid fears over his injury concern.
The 30-year-old sat out of international friendlies over the past week with Argentina, missing clashes with Italy and Spain.
In turn, with an ongoing fear over his hamstring trouble, Barcelona would have been concerned this week ahead of their encounter with Sevilla this weekend.
Further, they’ve got the Champions League quarter-finals to consider, coupled with the Copa del Rey final and the run-in to the La Liga title race.
As a result, the last thing that the Catalan giants would want is to see Messi sidelined, but as seen in the images below, he returned to training with the group on Thursday and will now likely be assessed in the coming days before a decision is made on whether or not he will feature at the weekend.
There is an argument that he should perhaps be rested in the league given Barca’s 11-point lead over nearest rivals Atletico Madrid, and in turn he will be fresh and potentially fully recovered for the meetings with Roma in Europe and the cup final against Sevilla next month.
In contrast, it could be argued that he needs minutes too in order to reach peak fitness and form, and so it remains to be seen what Ernesto Valverde decides to do.
Either way, it will be a relief for many that Messi is merely involved in training and not being forced to sit out, and based on the reaction below from some supporters, they are undoubtedly delighted to see the Argentine icon working with his teammates and will hope that he’s back at his influential best sooner rather than later.
? Training for the available players from the first team on the Tito Vilanova pitch. The rest of the internationals have returned, Messi is working with the group and Aleñá of @FCBarcelonaB also joined in. ?? #ForçaBarça pic.twitter.com/fUqOjabv8c
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 29, 2018
Messi is there its all good ????
— Atharva Temkar (@Athsonfire) March 29, 2018
Yeah. Messi is in training. This is very good.
— Hare (@denizz_aa) March 29, 2018
Messi The Best
— DANIEL JAMES (@DANIELJ38786045) March 29, 2018
— Ammar Alqadri (@AlqadriAmmar) March 29, 2018
— charlielopez (@charlielopez718) March 29, 2018