Luis Enrique will on Friday decide whether or not to start Lionel Messi against Real Madrid in Saturday’s Clasico at Santiago Bernabeu.
AS reports the Barca coaching staff appear to prefer to stick to the usual protocol when a player is returning from injury, which is to slowly re-integrate him into the team.
Messi hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury in late September against Las Palmas but this week returned to full training and is said to feel good, and has had no trouble taking part in the sessions.
AS notes Messi has been told to communicate any discomfort immediately but has not reported a problem with his injury.
It’s possible Messi will be left on the bench at the Bernabeu and used in the final 30 minutes if he is needed, in much the same way he was when Barca went to Vicente Calderon to face Atletico Madrid.
Messi was rested from the start for the match after a long trip for international duty and the birth of his second child, which he attended with the permission of Enrique as it meant missing training.
The forward travelled to the Calderon without having trained and was named as a reserve by the Coach, introduced on the hour with the scores at 1-1.
Messi made the difference, scoring the winning goal, and it’s felt he could be used in a similar way this weekend.