Barcelona's Lionel Messi returns to training, Real Betis pencilled in for return
Lionel Messi returned to training on Wednesday after missing Barcelona's wins over Inter Milan and Real Madrid in the last week.
Messi, 31, did some fitness training at the club's training ground and was able to do some ball work for the first time since breaking a bone in his arm on Oct. 20.
The forward is on track to return within the three weeks he was initially ruled out for but sources have told ESPN FC that Barca won't take any risks with his recovery.
Barcelona face Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday before travelling to Rayo Vallecano in La Liga on Saturday.
Messi will not be available for either game but his return to training led to hopes he could return for next Tuesday's game at Inter.
Failing that, he will almost certainly be back to face Real Betis on Nov. 11, which is Barca's final game before the international break.
He injured his arm in the win over Sevilla earlier this month but his absence has not hampered Barca on the pitch.
So far he has missed the 2-0 Champions League win over Inter and the 5-1 Clasico humiliation of Madrid at Camp Nou.
Messi trained with Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique on Wednesday as the first team travelled to Leon for their cup game.
Ernesto Valverde has named an inexperienced squad for the match, resting seven of his more senior players, including Ivan Rakitic, Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez.