Messi recovers from knee injury, makes Barca squad

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi looks set to try and surpass Gerd

Mueller’s 40-year-old record for most goals in a calendar year when

Barcelona plays Real Betis after recovering from a bruised left


Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova included Messi in his squad for

the Spanish league match at Betis on Sunday, saying the forward

will play barring a setback.

”(Messi) feels fine, he isn’t bothered (by the knee),”

Vilanova said Saturday. ”If he is traveling it’s because he’s in

condition to play. It there existed even the smallest risk he

wouldn’t travel with the team.”

Vilanova said he didn’t know yet if he would start Messi or

bring him off the bench.

Messi was carried off the pitch after a late collision with the

opposing goalkeeper in Barcelona’s 0-0 draw against Benfica in the

Champions League on Wednesday. He hasn’t missed a game because of

injury since September 2010.

The 25-year-old Messi is trying to match Mueller’s record of 85

goals for Bayern Munich and West Germany in 1972. Messi has 84

goals so far this year for Barcelona and Argentina.

Forward Alexis Sanchez and defender Dani Alves have recovered

from injury and made the squad

Barcelona leads the league after a record start of 13 wins and

one draw in the opening 14 rounds.