Messi fit for gym work

Lionel Messi worked out in the gym on Thursday after being carried off in Barcelona's Champions League clash with Benfica.

Last Updated: 06/12/12 at 12:01 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Suffered a bruised left knee against Benfica

Lionel Messi: Suffered a bruised left knee against Benfica

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Lionel Messi worked out in the gym as his Barcelona team-mates trained on Thursday morning, and the Argentinian could yet be fit for Sunday's match against Real Betis despite being carried off in Wednesday night's Champions League clash with Benfica.

Messi gave Barca a major injury scare in Wednesday night's goalless draw, colliding with Benfica goalkeeper Artur Moraes and then falling awkwardly in the 84th minute.

But the club said on Wednesday night that Messi had suffered nothing more than a bruised left knee and they confirmed via their twitter account on Thursday that he had been able to work in the gym.

The final Group G game was meaningless to Barcelona, forcing coach Tito Vilanova to defend his decision to send Messi on as a 58th-minute substitute.

Messi, 25, went into the game one goal shy of Gerd Muller's record of 85 in a calendar year but Vilanova denied that played a part in his selection.

"We talked about the possibility of him playing for 30 minutes. He's a player that likes to play," said the Barca boss.

"He's not focused on breaking the record that everyone is talking about, if that were the case he would have played against Alaves (in the Copa del Rey last week) and the full 90 minutes against Benfica.

"Playing is part of his physical training."

Vilanova was adamant he would not change the way Messi was handled.

"Should we sub him out every time we're leading 3-0 in case he picks up an injury?" he added.

"We've never behaved this way. I'd make the same decision (to play him) seeing that he can get injured at any moment."

Vilanova made a host of changes for last night's match, several of them enforced, but Messi's apparent let-off was not the only good news on the injury front on Thursday morning.

Andres Iniesta, Alexis Sanchez, Jordi Alba and Dani Alves all took part in training with the rest of the squad, while Eric Abidal was able to return to the field for lighter workouts.

Barca had already secured top spot in their group, and they could now face the likes of Porto, Arsenal, AC Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk and Galatasaray in the round of 16, although Vilanova does not have a preference.

"Whoever we play against will be a big team," he said on www.fcbarcelona.com.

"The round of 16 is always complicated.

"We did what we had to do, we wanted to finish first and have that small advantage of playing the return leg at home."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

tk421
F365's Transfer Guide - Part One

I

would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

godzilla
Reds and Arsenal chase Milner

W

ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

CamberleyGooner
The Back To It Gossip

Footer 365

Sepp Blatter 'under investigation' in United States

Outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter is being investigated by US authorities probing the corruption scandal, according to reports.

Sepp Blatter announces he will resign as FIFA president

Sepp Blatter has announced he is to resign as president of FIFA and an election will be held to decide his successor.

Sepp Blatter to quit: Names in frame for FIFA top job

After FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced he will step down from the role, we look at the candidates to replace him.

Mail Box

Liverpool 2015 Feels Like Liverpool 2011...

One Mailer says Benteke = Carroll, Bellamy = Milner and Clyne = Downing. Plus we have U21 Euro impatience, farewell Rio, Rafa Benitez, Milner, FIFA and title play-offs...

Calling Carlo For Liverpool... Please

One Liverpool Mailer wants a manager who isn't starstruck by the job. Plus why Milner has now become overrated, play-offs for the title, Ronaldinho and democracy..

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company