BARCELONA

Barcelona: Messi playing injured according to ESPN

Messi should be available for Athletic Bilbao but he has been playing with discomfort although it has nothing to do with previous soleus injury.

Barcelona: Messi playing injured according to ESPN
Gorka Leiza DIARIO AS

According to ESPN, Leo Messi has been playing with pain in his left leg for the last number of games. Barcelona's captain has been struggling with a thigh injury according to the report but with Luis Suárez and Ousmané Dembélé both out injured, he has been pushing through the pain barrier.

The Argentine should be fit to play against Athletic Bilbao on Thursday in the Copa del Rey but the 32-year-old is showing signs of fatigue. Quique Setién has replaced Ernesto Valverde as the manager of the club and his training has had a negative impact on Messi according to the report.

Messi feeling the effects of fatigue

 "The sessions are different and some of the drills are more intense," one source told ESPN. "Some players seem to be feeling the fatigue a bit more and that's when the pain can appear."

Messi was involved in all five goals against Leganés in the Copa del Rey last 16 clash and in both goals against Levante as he continues to churn out some good performances, if not his best. He has scored 19 goals in all competition this season in 24 games. 

The current issue has nothing to do with the calf injury that kept him out at the start of the season for six weeks.