Messi foot injury improving ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Celta Vigo

Lionel Messi gives a thumbs-up sign to Argentina fans before the El Salvador friendly - a game he sat out with a foot injury.

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Barcelona are optimistic Lionel Messi will pass a fitness test and play at Celta Vigo on Sunday.

The 27-year-old forward sat out Argentina’s 2-0 friendly victory over El Salvador on Saturday with a foot problem and did not feature in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Ecuador.

However, Messi, who sustained the injury two weeks ago in a Champions League game against Manchester City, appears to have recovered in time for this weekend’s game at the Balaidos Stadium.

A statement from Barcelona read: "Leo Messi and Javier Mascherano landed in Barcelona this morning (Thursday) and came to the Ciutat Esportiva despite having until Friday off.

"The two Argentinians jogged and stretched on their own.

"The swelling in Messi’s foot has improved and he will try to join in with Barca’s other international players on Friday."

Barca are four points clear of nearest rivals Real Madrid at the top of the Primera Division standings with 10 games remaining.

Messi is the top scorer in La Liga this season with 32 goals, with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo one goal behind.