Barcelona issued an update on Lionel Messi after the captain missed training on Sunday ahead of the club’s next La Liga game against Eibar.
The Catalan giants initially announced the Argentina international was expected to return to training after the Eibar match but have now issued further information to explain Messi’s absence, via the club’s official website.
First team player, Lionel Messi, is completing the treatment for his right ankle, and is expected to return to training after the FC Barcelona v SD Eibar match.
The news Messi has an injury will be a blow, although Barcelona’s statement suggests the problem is not too serious and he could be in contention to play against Huesca on January 3.
Meanwhile, Eibar will surely be relieved not to be facing Messi again. The Argentina international scored four in a 5-0 win for the Catalan giants the last time Eibar visited the Camp Nou in La Liga.
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Messi Joins Barcelona’s Injury List
Barcelona’s update on Messi means the captain joins a number of key players on the injured list at present. Defenders Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto are both sidelined along with teenage forward Ansu Fati.
Ousmane Dembele is also yet to return after a hamstring injury but is expected to be passed fit for the game against Eibar. Coach Ronald Koeman confirmed the Frenchman was progressing well at a news conference ahead of the team’s win at Real Valladolid last time out.
I think it’s a little too early [to be in the squad for Real Valladolid]. Yesterday he did part of the training session with the reserves, which is normal the day after the game. He needs more training sessions to be able to go on the squad list. He could make the squad for Eibar at the end of December.
Although Koeman is without a number of important players he has been able to welcome center-backs Samuel Umtiti and Ronald Araujo back from injury in recent weeks.
Barca head into Tuesday’s match fresh from a morale-boosting 3-0 win over Real Valladolid last time out. Messi was on target in the victory, notching a record 644th goal for Barca which saw him overtake Pele’s landmark of goals for a single club.
Barcelona Set for Final Fixture of 2020
Coach Koeman will be hoping Barca can finish off 2020 with another win against Eibar. It’s been a rollercoaster year for the Catalan giants who sacked Ernesto Valverde in January and his replacement Quique Setien in August.
Koeman then came in but has endured a tough start to his tenure as Barca boss. The Catalan giants are already eight points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid in 2020-21 and have played one game more than Diego Simeone’s side.
Barca finished last season empty-handed and will not want a repeat but can ill-afford to drop any more points if they are to challenge for the title. The Catalan giants are also facing a tough tie in the Champions League with last season’s beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain up next in the Round of 16.