Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi will be fit to play in Barcelona’s first game back against Real Mallorca, despite some “minor tightness” in his right thigh, coach Quique Setien said on Sunday.
Messi trained alone on Saturday at Camp Nou after sitting out the team’s previous two sessions, raising doubts over his involvement in the trip to Mallorca on Saturday.
But when asked whether Messi would be able to play next weekend, Setien told Movistar on Sunday: “Messi is not the only one that has not trained and felt some discomfort.
“It’s what has happened to everyone or practically everyone since they have been back.
“It is some minor tightness and we have it under control. He is doing perfectly and will not have any problem.”
Barcelona said on Friday that Messi should return to full training “in a few days’ time”, but his absence is a concern given the squad have only 10 days to train together before La Liga resumes on Thursday.
Messi has also endured an injury-interrupted season.
The 32-year-old was out for six weeks between August and September with a calf injury and then at the end of September, he missed another week with a problem in his left thigh.
After regaining fitness, he quickly found form, scoring 24 goals in 31 appearances to help Barcelona sit two points clear at the top of La Liga.
Setien also gave an update on the fitness of Luis Suarez, who has been given the green light by the club to return after undergoing surgery on his right knee in January.
“He is better than we expected,” Setien said. “But the question is how ready he is after so long out, and whether he is ready to start.”
La Liga will resume on Thursday with Sevilla against Real Betis after a three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There are 11 rounds left to play, with fixtures expected to take place every day until the season ends on July 19.