Messi on track for PSG return

The Argentine attacker went off at half-time with a hamstring strain in the first leg in Paris on Tuesday, but is training hard and is expected to be ready to start on Wednesday
Lionel Messi underwent a special session at Barcelona on Thursday as he aims to recover from his hamstring problem in time for the Catalans club's Champions League semi-final second leg at home to Paris Saint-Germain next Wednesday.

Messi was withdrawn at the interval at the Parc des Princes after pulling up late in the first period, by which time he had already given Barca the lead in the first-leg match, which finished 2-2.

Thursday was a day off for the Barcelona squad, but Messi turned up for a double session with physio Juanjo Brau and is keen to play the return match versus PSG.

Tests on Wednesday revealed the problem to be less serious than the club had initially imagined, with the original prognosis estimating that the Argentine would be sidelined for around three weeks.

But Messi allayed fears as he wrote on Facebook: "I will be back soon, luckily it [the injury] wasn't much."

The 25-year-old will miss Saturday's match at home to Mallorca in La Liga, thereby ending his run of 19 consecutive rounds on the scoresheet, but is expected to be called up for the match against PSG.

Messi has benefited from the Catalans club's calendar in that their match in Paris was played on Tuesday, with the return scheduled for Wednesday - an eight-day gap, as opposed to Real Madrid's six-day break between their two games against Galatasaray.

Adriano also has an outside chance of returning on Wednesday as Barca hope to bring back defenders to ease their current crisis, with Carles Puyol sidelined following a knee operation and Javier Mascherano stretchered off with ligament damage against PSG.