Barca boost as Messi returns to training
Madrid: Barcelona were given a huge boost on Thursday as Argentine superstar Lionel Messi returned to training ahead of next week`s Champions League semi-final first-leg at Bayern Munich.
The four-time world player of the year has struggled with a right thigh injury that limited his appearance in the quarter-final to an inspirational second-half cameo during the second leg elimination of Paris Saint-Germain.
"The big news about Thursday`s training was Leo Messi," read a statement on the club website fcbarcelona.com.
"The Argentine suffered a thigh injury during the 2-2 first leg at the Parc des Princes (2-2 against PSG) but has returned to training."
Following Barca`s win against the French club, on the away goals rule after a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou, Messi has since missed the 3-0 Liga victory over Real Zaragoza but is now set to play a role in the crucial first-leg tie at the Allianz Arena.
More good news for the four-time European champions is the return to training of key utility player Sergio Busquets, who also missed the Zaragoza tie with a groin problem.
Both players are likely to be rested or used sparingly for Saturday`s league match against Levante.
Barcelona currently lead arch rivals and fellow Champions League semi-finalists Real Madrid by 13 points with seven matches to play.