Barcelona have announced that Lionel Messi is now able to begin the third stage of his recovery from injury.
Messi was ruled out for eight weeks in mid-November and is currently in his native Argentina as he continues his rehabilitation.
The 26-year-old underwent tests at the Argentina Football Association (AFA) on Friday and has now been given the green light to focus on rebuilding his fitness.
A statement on the club’s official website read: “On Wednesday it was confirmed that Leo Messi's recovery was on track, and this Friday additional tests at AFA facilities confirmed that the Argentinian player has progressed past the clinical stage of his recovery.
“The player is now focused on the third stage of his recovery, which focuses on physical conditioning.
“It’s worth noting that doctor Ricard Pruna, as well as FC Barcelona’s director of football Andoni Zubizarreta, travelled to Argentina on Tuesday to check in with Leo Messi. The forward sustained a hamstring injury on Nov. 10 in Seville. On Nov. 29 he travelled to Argentina to continue his recovery.”
Messi said following the injury that he was targeting a return in the New Year.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.