BARCELONA have announced that Lionel Messi has returned to the training pitch ahead of this weekend’s La Liga match against Celta de Vigo.
The 27-year-old was forced to sit out Argentina’s international friendlies against El Salvador and Ecuador in the United States due to a foot injury and there were doubts as to whether he would be match fit in time for Sunday’s encounter at Balaidos.
Nevertheless, the Catalans will be hopeful the league’s all-time top goalscorer will be available after he returned to the training pitch on Thursday alongside compatriot Javier Mascherano.
Barcelona later confirmed via their official website that Messi’s injury has abated and he could join the rest of the squad’s returning internationals for Friday’s session.
“The two Argentines completed continuous running and stretching on their own,” the statement read. “The inflammation of Messi’s foot has improved and the player will try to come together with the rest of the international players on Friday.”
Messi has been in sublime form for Barcelona so far in 2014-15, netting 32 goals in 28 La Liga appearances.
The Argentine leads the race for the European Golden Shoe, holding a one-goal advantage over Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo.