BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Lionel Messi has been given the green light to begin the third phase of his recovery program from a hamstring injury, Barcelona have announced.
The Argentina international is in Buenos Aires as he continues his rehabilitation from the injury he sustained against Real Betis on November 10 and will keep him sidelined until the new year. Messi underwent further tests at the Argentina Football Association's (AFA) facility on Friday where it was confirmed the 26-year-old can move on to the next stage of his recovery.
Barca announced on their official website: "On Wednesday it was confirmed that Leo Messi's recovery was on track, and this Friday additional tests at AFA facilities confirmed that the Argentinian player has progressed past the clinical stage of his recovery.
"The player is now focused on the third stage of his recovery, which focuses on physical conditioning."
The injury is set to keep Messi out for between six and eight weeks in total, meaning he is in line for a January return.
Leo Messi begins the third phase of his recovery programme http://t.co/tzfzqQITna
-- FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 20, 2013