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Messi returns to Barcelona training

Updated: 2013-10-16 07:07
By Reuters in Madrid ( China Daily)

World Player of the Year Lionel Messi returned to full training with his Barcelona teammates on Monday for the first time since sustaining a nagging thigh injury two weeks ago.

"Barca's Argentine forward has taken another step forward in his recovery," the Spanish champion said on its website ( on Monday.

The Argentine was forced off with the problem in the 2-0 win over Almeria on Sept 29 after scoring his 11th goal in just nine appearances this season to give his side the lead in that game.

Messi stayed in Barcelona to continue his recuperation process rather than traveling to represent his country when Argentina squares off against Copa America champion Uruguay in Montevideo on Tuesday.

And it is expected the 26-year-old will be fit enough to start Barca's match away to Osasuna on Saturday ahead of a big week for the Spanish champion as it travels to AC Milan in the Champions League before hosting Real Madrid on Oct 26.

There was further good news on the injury front for Barca boss Gerardo Martino as centerbacks Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano also took part in the training session.

Puyol hasn't played since undergoing knee surgery in March, but is expected to be given the green light to return to action later this week.

And Mascherano should also be in the lineup against Osasuna after recovering from a hamstring problem.