Barcelona’s Argentine star Lionel Messi returned to training on Friday, five days after injuring his ankle, but away from the first-team squad, the club announced.
“Lionel Messi’s road to recovery took a step forward on Friday as he strolled onto the training pitch for the first time to work on his individual programme,” Barcelona said on its website.
“He has moved up a gear and moved outside along with a coach and worked away from the rest of the first-team squad as he battles to regain full fitness.”
Messi was stretchered off in the final minute of Sunday’s league match against Atletico Madrid, which Barca won 2-1, following a robust tackle from Czech defender Tomasz Ujfalusi, who was sent off for the challenge.
Barcelona said Monday that Messi, the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, would miss at least the next two matches after suffering ligament damage to his ankle.
Ujfalusi has apologised to Messi, saying he had “tried to go for the ball”, but was “unlucky as my foot stepped on his ankle”.
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