Barcelona undecided about Messi involvement in El Clasico

Barcelona have named Lionel Messi in the squad to face Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final first leg, but will “wait until the last moment” to decide if he plays.

The Argentine returned to training on Tuesday after suffering a thigh injury in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Valencia.

“It is true that sometimes we have had doubts with players and we have waited until the last moment,” said manager Ernesto Valverde.

“It’s the same with Messi.”

Wednesday’s tie at the Nou Camp will be the first of three El Clasico’s in 25 days, with the second leg on Wednesday, 27 February and a La Liga encounter on Saturday, 2 March.

Forward Ousmane Dembele is also unlikely to be fit for the first leg at the Nou Camp, as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury.

This is the second time Messi has left Barcelona sweating over his fitness this season after suffering a fractured arm in October that ruled him out of that month’s 5-1 win over rivals Real Madrid that marked the end of Julen Lopetegui’s reign as Madrid boss.

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