Barcelona, Clubs, Lionel Messi, Spanish Primera División, Story

Ernesto Valverde still wants Lionel Messi back as soon as possible despite Barcelona’s 5-1 win in El Clasico on Sunday.
Luis Saurez stepped up in the absence of Lionel Messi to score a hat-trick in Barcelona’s emphatic 5-1 win over Real Madrid at the Camp Nou.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen believes it’s time for someone in his team to step up in the absence of Lionel Messi, as Barcelona play Real Madrid in the first El Clasico of the season.

Lionel Messi returned to training on Wednesday after missing Barcelona’s wins over Inter Milan and Real Madrid in the last week.

Messi, 31, did some fitness training at the club’s training ground and was able to do some ball work for the first time since breaking a bone in his arm on Oct. 20.

The forward is on track to return within the three weeks he was initially ruled out for but sources have told ESPN FC that Barca won’t take any risks with his recovery.

Barcelona face Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday before travelling to Rayo Vallecano in La Liga on Saturday.

Messi will not be available for either game but his return to training led to hopes he could return for next Tuesday’s game at Inter.

Failing that, he will almost certainly be back to face Real Betis on Nov. 11, which is Barca’s final game before the international break.

He injured his arm in the win over Sevilla earlier this month but his absence has not hampered Barca on the pitch.

So far he has missed the 2-0 Champions League win over Inter and the 5-1 Clasico humiliation of Madrid at Camp Nou.

Messi trained alone on Wednesday as the first team travelled to Leon for their cup game.

Ernesto Valverde has named an inexperienced squad for the match, resting seven of his more senior players, including Gerard Pique, Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez.

Those that haven’t travelled have been given a few days off this week following a gruelling schedule.

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