Messi returns to full training

Lionel Messi has returned to training with Barcelona after three weeks on the sidelines with a groin injury.

Messi tore a muscle during Barcelona’s 1-1 draw against title rivals Atletico Madrid last month, but has now joined in full training, but it is unclear whether the 29-year-old is in contention to feature competitively.

The Argentine’s return is one of two positive pieces of injury news for Barcelona, with French international Samuel Umtiti also back in full training after suffering knee ligament damage last month.

“Both Leo Messi and Samuel Umtiti, despite neither yet being declared fit for selection as they battle to recover from injury, were able to join the rest of the team for the workout,” said a Barcelona statement.

However, Spanish full-back Sergi Roberto and Dutch back-up keeper Jasper Cillessen both face spells on the treatment table after sustaining injuries on international duty.

If all goes well, Messi could his make his comeback against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday ahead of next week’s visit from Manchester City in the Champions League.