Barcelona boss Luis Enrique insists there is “nothing wrong” with Lionel Messi despite fears the Argentina captain was carrying an injury.
Messi was seen clutching the back of his leg during Barca’s 1-1 Champions League draw at Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday and skipped training on Thursday due to “personal reasons”.
That sparked concerns over Messi’s fitness but Luis Enrique has confirmed the forward is fine and he now appears set to start the weekend clash with Deportivo La Coruna.
“Here we go with routine questions as always. No, Leo is fine, there’s nothing wrong with him at all,” he said at Friday’s media conference.
Barca earlier showed a video of Messi walking out on to the training field for Friday’s session alongside team-mate Luis Suarez.
Following the Depor clash at Camp Nou, the European champions fly out to Japan for the FIFA Club World Cup with Barca scheduled to play either Club America or Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao in Thursday’s semi-final.
It remains to be seen whether Messi’s fellow forward Neymar will be on the plane. The Brazil star suffered a groin injury in training ahead of the game against Leverkusen, although Luis Enrique claims he is in good spirits.
“Any injured player will be upset as it’s a tough blow,” he added. “But he’s generally okay.
“I’m always optimistic but the most important thing is to recover properly. I understand he’s excited about Japan but for me the most important thing is to be 100 per cent fit.
“I’d like everyone to play but let’s just take things step by step.”