Messi back in training, could be fit for weekend’s game

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Lionel Messi was back in full training again on Wednesday and may be fit to face Real Betis in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Messi had been training separately from the squad since injuring his right calf in the preseason.

He missed the team’s 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the league opener last Friday.

Barcelona has not said how long it expects Messi to be sidelined.

Coach Ernesto Valverde is also dealing with injuries to forwards Luiz Suárez and Ousmane Dembele.

Dembele is certain to miss Sunday’s match at the Camp Nou because of a left thigh injury that should keep him out for about five weeks.

Suárez also isn’t likely to play this weekend because of a muscle injury sustained before halftime of Friday’s game in Bilbao.

Two-time defending champion Barcelona hadn’t loss a league opener in 10 seasons.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi looks on next to his teammate Antoine Griezman before the Joan Gamper trophy football match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain. – PHOTO: AP