Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has said he is fully fit and that the injury he suffered against Atletico Madrid recently was not related to the left thigh issue that severely hampered him towards the end of last season.
Messi was substituted at half-time in the Spanish Supercopa first leg at Atletico on August 21, and subsequently missed Barca’s 1-0 victory at Malaga in La Liga four days later.
This raised fears that he had not fully recovered from the injury first suffered when scoring at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-final first leg in early April, but the Argentine told TV channel CN23, in comments reported by El Mundo Deportivo, that the two issues were not connected.
“It was a bang, nothing more,” Messi said. “There was some swelling, but no tear. The club did not hide anything. The injury last season was difficult, but I am fine now.”
The problems focused attention on Messi’s recovery programme, with AS pointing out last week that, of his previous 26 games, he had only completed two. Messi has acknowledged that he had perhaps returned too soon to action last term but said he had rested sufficiently during his summer break.
“I played half-injured, and suffered a relapse, so it was not easy to recover,” he said. “[But] I had time to get well on holidays, and I am good now, looking forward to continuing like this.”