Although he has yet to receive the medical all-clear, Barcelona striker Lionel Messi looks set to start against Bayern Munich in the first-leg of Barca’s UEFA Champions
League Semifinal series at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday. The Argentine was named to Barca’s 21-man squad on Monday.
Messi pulled his hamstring in the first-leg of Barca’s UCL quarterfinal series against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes three weeks ago. Marca reports that the four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner then aggravated the injury when he came on as a substitute in the return-leg at the Camp Nou the following week. Even though Barca claimed that Messi did not suffer a setback during that series-saving 30-minute cameo, he has not played for the Catalan club since, having only returned to full training last Friday.
The report adds that physiotherapist Juanjo Brau “has stuck to Messi like glue” over the last two weeks, combining physical therapy exercises with heat treatments to speed up his recovery. Though he won’t be 100 percent for the first-leg vs. Bayern, Marca says he will be in better shape than he was against PSG. However, any recurrence of the injury could spell the end of his season.