Messi returns to Barca training ahead of Real clash

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi returned to training with his team-mates on Monday following a knee injury, ahead of the league leaders’ trip to Real Madrid this weekend.

Messi hasn’t featured for Barca since sustaining knee ligament damage in a 2-1 victory over Las Palmas at the end of September, but is in line to make his comeback in Saturday’s first Clasico of the season at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“(Monday’s training) session included the presence of ‘Leo’ Messi, who is in the process of recovering from a left knee injury suffered on September 26,” read a post on Barca’s club website.

Barca have performed well in the absence of the four-time Ballon d’Or winner, with four straight league victories propelling Luis Enrique’s men to the top of La Liga, three points ahead of arch-rivals Madrid in second.

Neymar and Luis Suarez have scored 10 goals apiece since the Argentine was sidelined, and the duo could again lead the line at the weekend with Spanish media suggesting that Barca may not rush Messi back into the starting line-up as a precaution.

Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic also returned to training after injuring his calf in a 3-0 Champions League group stage victory over BATE Borisov at the start of the month.

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