The latest tests on Lionel Messi’s recovery from injury indicate that he remains on target for an early January return.
Barcelona club doctor Ricard Pruna, medical staff member Pepe Costa and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta yesterday arrived in Argentina to personally assess the 26-year-old’s recovery from a torn hamstring muscle sustained in November.
Meeting the player at the headquarters of the Argentine Football Association in Buenos Aires, Dr Pruna examined him and is reported by the Catalan club as satisfied that his recovery is going well and remains on track.
Barca also report that on Friday Messi will undergo further tests which will determine when he can being the third phase of his recovery programme.
Coach Tata Martino indicated his belief earlier this week that Messi will be back in Barcelona for training on January 2, whilst reports in Spain suggest Barca’s second League match of the new year, away to Atletico Madrid on the weekend of January 11-12 is a realistic return date.