Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said on Monday that Lionel Messi could play in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at Inter Milan, but he would take “no risks” with the superstar attacker as he recovers from a broken arm.
“He could play, but we have to wait until after training and see how he feels. He’s showing positive things in training, but we need a certain security threshold for him to be able to play,” Valverde said.
“He could play at the start, come off the bench, not play at all... everything is possible. What is sure is that we won’t take any risks.”
Messi broke his arm during Barca’s win over Sevilla on October 20, with the club estimating at the time he would be out for three weeks.
However, the 31-year-old Argentine has travelled with the squad to the San Siro, and could yet be declared fully fit.
“He’s happy to be with us, and we’re happy to have him here in Milan. It’s always good to have Leo with us,” added Spanish defender Sergi Roberto.
“We organised ourselves in his absence. We have won without him, but we’re happy to have him with the group.”
Barcelona have won all of their last four matches without Messi, including a 2-0 win over Inter at the Camp Nou last month.
They sit three points ahead of the Italians at the top of Group B, having won each of their three fixtures.