Millennium Post

Barcelona’s Jordi Roura prudent on Messi return

Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura said Friday he would not rush back Lionel Messi, as the Argentine star recovers from a thigh injury and is unlikely to be risked in the next match against Levante.

‘He (Messi) came back to training with the squad today (Friday) and that’s good. But I think it’s a little bit early for tomorrow against Levante. We will see how things stand after the final training session’ on Saturday, Roura told reporters.

Messi picked up the injury in the Champions League quarter-final, first leg 2-2 draw at Paris Saint-Germain but did come on during the second leg, providing an assist on Pedro’s crucial equaliser which took the Catalan club through to meet Bayern Munich.

The four-time world player of the year then missed last weekend’s win at Real Zaragoza. The priority is now Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg showdown with Bayern at the Allianz Arena. ‘He’s taking this period of convalescence calmly,’ insisted Roura, who admitted he has greater doubts about the fitness of central defensive pair Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano for the Bayern game.

‘Puyol will definitely not be there for the first leg and it will be tough equally for the return. For Mascherano, he may make the return as he is progressing well. But it will be a close call, I think,’ said Roura. Roura also said Barca would wait on the fitness of French defender Eric Abidal, who is poised for a remarkable return after a year.

‘We have to take it stage by stage after all he’s been through it’s already something that he is back.’ 

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