Barcelona reportedly had planned to use Lionel Messi in midweek for only a maximum of 15 minutes and only in case of emergency.
The Argentine was forecast, according to Mundo Deportivo, as fit enough to only appear from the bench on Wednesday night against Paris Saint-Germain for a quarter of an hour, and only if absolutely required.
However, as it transpired, the 25-year-old, who picked up a thigh injury in the previous week’s Champions League first leg against the French, was used for the final 30 minutes of play, notably having an influence in turning the tide in Barca’s favour on the night.
Messi was also given a specific, shortened warm-up routine this week, where he would only start to exercise fully just 10 minutes before coming on to the pitch, to minimise the risk of furthering his injury.
Tests carried out post-match revealed that the Argentine had suffered no deterioration or change to his thigh injury, whilst he is expected to be rested this weekend against Real Zaragoza.