The Argentine World Player of the Year has not featured for the Spanish champions since straining a thigh muscle on November 10, the latest in a series of muscle injuries that plagued him throughout 2013.
His return will give Barcelona a lift as they prepare for Saturday’s La Liga clash at Atletico Madrid. The two sides are joint-leaders of La Liga, with 49 points from 18 matches.
Messi has been away for two months and spent a month recuperating in Argentina.
Even his return to training on Friday was cause for great fanfare, with 13,000 supporters packing the club’s mini stadium adjacent to the Camp Nou.
With Messi being Messi, he impressed them with a hat-trick during a 4-4 draw in the practice match.
Coach Gerardo Martino did not reveal at a news conference whether Messi would feature against Getafe, the team against whom he scored one of the greatest goals of his career in a Copa del Rey tie in April 2007.
Receiving the ball just inside the Barcelona half, he dashed through the opposition defence and slotted into the net from a narrow angle, covering 55 metres in 12 seconds.
Many compared the goal to the brilliant effort compatriot Diego Maradona scored against England at the 1986 World Cup.
Unforgettable: Lionel Messi scored a spectacular solo goal in a 2007 Copa del Rey tie with Getafe, drawing comparisons with Diego Maradona’s 1986 goal against England
‘If he plays tomorrow hopefully he will score another one just like it,’ said Martino with a smile.
‘He came back (from Argentina) and has been working like any other member of the squad.
‘Obviously he is lacking a bit of playing time but seeing as we are talking about Leo it is not really an issue. He has told me he is feeling fine and that’s why he is in the squad.’
Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets is available after he was suspended for Sunday’s 4-0 La Liga win at home to Elche but playmaker Xavi is rested.
Source : Daily Mail