Barca face Real Madrid at Bernabeu in first Clasico of season on Saturday
- Lionel Messi has been out since suffering torn knee ligament in September
- Messi trained with Barcelona on Monday for first time in seven weeks
- Barca face Real Madrid at Bernabeu in first Clasico of season on Saturday
- Ivan Rakitic and Marc Andre ter Stegen also returned to training
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was back in training on Monday five days before the La Liga leaders play at second-placed Real Madrid in the first Clasico of the season.
Messi has not featured since sustaining a knee injury against Las Palmas at the end of September, depriving the Spanish and European champions of their talisman and top scorer.
Barca have performed well in the Argentina captain’s absence, however, with Uruguay striker Luis Suarez and, especially, Brazil forward Neymar in fine form.
The Argentine forward tore his knee ligaments in Barcelona’s game against Las Palmas at the Nou Camp
Messi went down holding his knee with just three minutes gone in the home game on September 26
However, the 28-year-old’s national side have struggled without their talisman in their first three World Cup qualifying games – picking up just four points from a possible nine so far.
‘The first team returned to training on Monday after three days rest and began with a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the recent attacks in the French capital Paris,’ Barca said on the club website.
‘The session included Leo Messi, who is continuing his recovery from the left knee injury he picked up on Sept. 26,’
Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic, sidelined since damaging a calf muscle in the Champions League Group E game at home to BATE Borisov on November 4, was also back in training.
Goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen was another player to return to the training pitch after a week out following dental surgery.
With 11 matches played, Barca, who are chasing a sixth La Liga title in eight years, lead Real by three points, with Atletico Madrid a further point behind in third.
Messi (centre) is challenged by Real Madrid’s Isco (left) in the Clasico at the Bernabeu in October last year
Source: Daily Mail