Barca boss Valverde provides latest on Lionel Messi’s fitness

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has this evening provided a brief update on the fitness of talisman Lionel Messi.

Barca back on track

The Spanish champions welcomed Javier Calleja’s Villarreal to the Camp Nou on Tuesday night, for their latest league outing.

The Blaugrana headed into proceedings in search of an immediate bounce-back result. After somehow managing to escape with a 0-0 draw in their Champions League opener at Borussia Dortmund last week, Ernesto Valverde’s men were then put to the sword by 2 goals to nil at Granada last weekend.

When all was said and done in Catalunya 3 nights ago, though, Barca managed to get back on track.

Antoine Griezmann put the hosts in front with just 6 minutes gone, breaking free of the Villarreal back-line to nod home Lionel Messi’s corner at the near post.

Arthur then added the Blaugrana’s 2nd with a quarter of an hour on the clock, with a sumptuous strike.

And, though Santi Cazorla managed to pull one back for Villarreal with a stunning long-ranger of his own shortly before the interval, in the end, Barca hung on for all 3 points.

Messi blow

An otherwise positive evening for the La Liga champions, though, was soured somewhat by a blow on the injury-front.

Star man Lionel Messi, who was making his return to the club’s starting XI following a spell on the sidelines, was replaced by Ousmane Dembele at half-time.

This came after the Argentine received extensive treatment on the sideline, just past the half-hour mark.

Messi’s problem, meanwhile, appeared to have been with his groin.

‘Not serious’

As such, speaking this afternoon in anticipation of his side’s trip to Getafe tomorrow afternoon, Ernesto Valverde was asked for an update on Messi’s fitness.

And the Barca boss went on to confirm that, though the Argentine’s injury is not a serious one, he will not feature versus Getafe, with no definitive timetable having been set for his return to action:

‘I don’t know how long he will be out. We hope he will be with the team soon. It is not serious, it is a small strain and we will see next week how everything goes.’

‘If he is [playing] we have strengths and if he does not then we lack an absolutely decisive player. But we have resources to manage. It is a setback but we must continue.’

Quotes via Goal

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