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Lionel Messi on course to be fit for El Clasico, says Barcelona president

Messi suffered a knee injury in the win over Las Palmas in late September and was ruled out for up to two months, putting his involvement in the November 21 encounter - live on Sky Sports - in jeopardy.

But reports in the Spanish press say the Argentina international has now stepped up his rehab by doing ballwork at the club's Ciutat Esportiva training ground and Bartomeu has revealed he is indeed on track to feature at the Bernabeu.

"I hope he can play as his recovery is within the timeframe we had set ourselves," Bartomeu said.

"I hope all of our players get through their trips with their national teams without injury and with great strength. We will then give our all to beat our rivals."

eymar and Luis Suarez have scored all 17 of Barcelona's league goals since Messi's lay-off but while manager Luis Enrique is relishing his forward's return, he has been coy over whether the Clasico will come too soon.

Speaking after a 3-0 win over Villarreal on Sunday Enrique said: "[Messi] is neither ruled out nor certain to play.

"He is still in the recovery process. It is going well. There are two weeks left. We will get Messi back, but either before or after that game.

"The only thing we are concerned about, since Leo was injured, was for him to recover well. We are infinitely stronger with Messi."
Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Staff writter

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