Lionel Messi should be be fit to return for El Clasico this month, but Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu insists the club will not force his comeback.
The Argentina international has been sidelined since sustaining a knee injury against Las Palmas on September 26.
Barca have won seven out of nine matches in all competitions since Messi was injured, but face Real Madrid – who they lead by three points at the top of La Liga – in the crunch Clasico clash after the international break on November 21.
That would be eight weeks after the 28-year-old’s injury, which was at the upper end of the estimates provided by the club, and Bartomeu hopes to see his star man take the field at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“The recovery of Leo Messi is within the timeframe we set ourselves, but we do not intend to force anything,” he is quoted as saying by AS.
“I hope he can play. If he can, great but if not, we have a lot of talent to beat them.
“I hope all of our players get through their trips with their national teams without injury and with great strength. We can then give our all to beat our rivals.”
Prior to his injury, Messi had scored six times from 10 appearances in 2015-16.
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