Barcelona are increasingly optimistic that star forward Lionel Messi will not feature against Valencia this weekend, say Marca.
The Argentine suffered a soleus muscle – in his Achilles tendon – in pre-season and has sat out the opening three matches of La Liga this season – with the club dropping five points.
He has since returned to first-team training with his teammates but many of the sessions he has been involved in are individual and not at full tilt.
There are now concerns that the attacking star may now not be available to start against Valencia this coming week for the scheduled fixture at the Camp Nou.
Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele are also currently sidelined with injuries, leaving the attacking options stretched in Catalonia.
It leaves Antoine Griezmann as the only fit senior attacking player in Ernesto Valverde’s squad while the club also failed to land Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain this campaign.
Messi was injured in his first pre-season session after returning from holiday, while he was involved extensively in Argentina’s run to the Copa America semi-finals, so has not been involved in any sessions yet.