BARCELONA

Leo Messi back in training ahead of Deportivo match

The Argentinean was out on the practice pitches at the club's Ciudad Deportiva after three weeks out with a groin injury and is in line for a place against Depor.

Leo Messi back in training ahead of Deportivo match
Rodolfo Molina DIARIO AS

Barcelona - Deportivo live

Leo Messi returned to Barcelona first team training on Wednesday following three weeks out with a groin injury.

Umtiti back

France international defender Samuel Umtiti also returned to training according to a statement on the Catalan giants' website.

"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 the statement accompanied by a photo showing Argentine Messi at work.

The statement also said the likes of Spanish internationals Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets had returned following the international break.

Messi, 29, tore a muscle in his groin during the 1-1 draw at home to La Liga title rivals Atlético Madrid on September 21.

Umtiti, 22, had strained a ligament in his knee the day before in training.

Fifa virus

The returnees provided a welcome boost for Barça who saw Spanish full-back Sergi Roberto and back-up goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen of the Netherlands return from international duty injured.

Another full-back, Jordi Alba, and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic are also out.

Barcelona host Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday before Manchester City visit the Camp Nou next week for a crucial Champions League tie, with the Premier League outfit's Catalan coach Pep Guardiola returning to the club he led to two European titles during a glorious four-year spell.

Barça have had an inconsistent start to the season, thrashing the likes of Real Betis (6-2), Celtic (7-0) and Sporting Gijón (5-0) but losing 2-1 at home to Alavés and falling 4-3 at Celta Vigo.

They currently sit fourth in La Liga, although only two points behind leaders Atlético.

They top their Champions League group ahead of City after winning their opening two games against Celtic and Borussia Mönchengladbach.