Barcelona tentatively name Lionel Messi in squad
Lionel Messi has been included in Barcelona's squad for Wednesday's Champions League match with Rubin Kazan - although the Argentina forward has not yet been given the green light to return to action.
Messi 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 on Monday 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 pn Monday afternoon ahead of Wednesday's game.
Barcelona Johan Cruyff says Messi should not be risked.
The Argentine attacker is still recovering from the ankle knock sustained versus Atletico Madrid last weekend, but has been included in coach Pep Guardiola's squad for the match in Russia.
"Right now we just want a quick recovery from Messi's ankle injury," he told El Periodico de Catalunya. "An injury that is not completely cured can give you problems not only in the game but throughout your career. The club can play and compete well without Messi against Rubin, and he should also not play Argentina's friendly match against Japan. Neither match is fundamental to either team.
"It would endanger the health of the player for nothing, and for the dollars the Argentine FA would receive in return."