Fit-again Lionel Messi: I feel great

The Argentina international scored a hat trick in a practice match Friday and is now looking forward to making his competitive comeback against Elche this weekend.
Lionel Messi has issued an ominous warning to defenders everywhere by revealing he feels "great" after returning to training this week.

The Barcelona forward, who was beset by injury problems last year, has been out action since November 10 with a hamstring tear but looked like his old self while netting a hat-trick in a practice match on Friday.

Messi, who could now make his competitive comeback in Sunday's Liga clash with Elche, admitted afterward that he was delighted with how his return to first-team training had gone.

"It is a great joy to be back working with my teammates," the 26-year-old Argentina international wrote on social networking sites Tencent Weibo and WeChat. "I feel great."

Barcelona currently tops La Liga on goal difference with Atletico Madrid sitting second.