Messi included in Barca squad

Lionel Messi is in Barcelona’s squad for the Champions League match with Rubin Kazan, despite not yet having got the all-clear to return.

The 23-year-old has missed Barca’s last two matches after being carried off on a stretcher against Atletico Madrid eight days ago with an ankle injury sustained in a challenge by Tomas Ujfalusi.

Messi trained normally with his team-mates this morning and was subsequently included in Pep Guardiola’s 19-man squad for the trip to Russia.

However, the FIFA World Player of the Year is still to be given the all-clear to play from Barca’s medical staff.

Frenchman Eric Abidal has also been named in Barca’s squad after being given permission to miss the last three games.

The only injury absence is Brazilian wing-back Adriano.

Barca, who won their opening Champions League Group D match 5-1 against Panathinaikos, are scheduled to leave for Russia this afternoon ahead of Wednesday’s game.