Lionel Messi injury news: The Barca star suffered a thigh injury during the game against Valencia last weekend.
Barcelona are currently at the top of the La Liga. The side is six points ahead of the second-placed Atletico Madrid, who failed to close the gap with the Catalan giants after they faced a stunning defeat to Real Betis.
However, Valverde’s side received a major setback during the 2-2 draw against Valencia last week as Lionel Messi suffered a thigh injury.
After days of speculation over his participation in the Copa del Rey semifinal against Real Madrid, Messi made a substitute appearance in the game.
However, the Barca captain is not yet properly healed and may be rested for the game against Athletic Bilbao, according to reports.
Lionel Messi injury news:
According to Spanish media outlet Marca, Lionel Messi may be kept out for the game against Athletic Bilbao this weekend.
Barcelona face the side on Sunday night.
Marca reports that Messi has not participated in the training session on Friday and Valverde may opt to rest the Barca forward as the side awaits more information on his injury.
📸 | Messi’s was not fully fit in Clasico
Ernesto needs to rest him against Bilbao and Valladolid.. pic.twitter.com/SilaNQvta6
— BT Media (@BTMediaTape) February 7, 2019
Bilbao forward Inigo Cordoba on Messi: “If he plays or not always has an effect because you notice him when he’s out there.Don’t know if he’ll play, if he does, we’d be able to say we beat Barca with Messi and that’s a positive, if Messi didn’t play it still would very.”
— Barcelona Worldwide (@BarcaWorldwide) February 9, 2019
Barcelona will play in the round of 16 of the Champions League later this month against Lyon. The side will also travel to Santiago Bernabeu towards the end of the month, where they will play against Real Madrid twice in four days.
Marca further claims that Messi did more recovery in the gym ahead of the clash against Athletic Bilbao, which puts his participation in the game in doubt.
The Barca forward is currently the highest goalscorer in La Liga. He has scored 29 goals in 28 appearances across all competitions so far.
No Alba, no Rakitic, no Arthur, maybe no Dembélé and to be safe, resting Messi this weekend should be considered too.
What should our starting 11 be this weekend in Bilbao considering these injuries and suspensions?
— La Senyera (@LaSenyera) February 8, 2019
📰 [MD] | Barca are calm about Messi
🔶 The coach and staff do not want to rush Messi back, who is still not 100%, It is true that the match against Bilbao is important but keeping Messi 100% is more important
🔷 Dembele hopes to play on Sunday pic.twitter.com/laC95yc1XW
— BarçaTimes (@BarcaTimes) February 8, 2019
Malcom: “Messi? I do not know if he is going to be able to play against Athletic Bilbao, hopefully, because then we have more chances to win the game.”
— Barça Centre (@barcacentre) February 7, 2019
Earlier in the season, Messi missed nearly three weeks of football for Barcelona after he faced a shoulder injury during the game against Sevilla.