Barcelona boss Quique Setien has downplayed Lionel Messi’s recent injury problem and is confident that he will be available to feature against Real Mallorca this weekend.
The 32-year-old has again been instrumental for the Catalan giants so far this season, scoring 24 goals and providing 16 assists in 31 appearances.
That has kept them in firm contention for the La Liga title and Champions League, and after the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, the Spanish top flight returns this weekend as Barcelona travel to Mallorca on Saturday night hoping to get off to a winning start and to protect their two-point lead at the top of the standings.
As noted by the club’s official site last week, concern was raised as they confirmed that Messi had suffered a minor muscle injury and was training away from the rest of the group, although it was suggested it was more of a precautionary move and that he was expected to resume full training in the coming days.
After he was seen training individually on Saturday at the Camp Nou, Setien has now offered more reassurance to Barcelona supporters who will be desperate to see their talisman lead their charge on Saturday.
“Messi is not the only one who has not trained and has had some discomfort, it has happened to many, it is a minor muscle problem, we have controlled it, he is perfectly well and will not have any problems [against Mallorca],” he is quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo in a TV interview with Movistar.
That should be music to the ears of Barcelona fans, although they will naturally hope to see Messi back in group training in midweek to show that he’s overcome the injury and is back at full tilt ready to be named in the starting XI vs Mallorca.
With Luis Suarez getting the all-clear at the weekend after recovering from knee surgery in January, the reigning La Liga champions appear to be in a strong spot in their bid to enjoy a successful end to the campaign.
That said, with games almost every three days between now and the end of July, they won’t want to take any risks with their star men as they will need them given the lack of quality depth in the squad and so time will tell if Messi and Suarez start this weekend.