Barcelona can't rely on Messi, says Fabregas

The midfielder is delighted that his team-mate is close to a return to action but fears the club becoming overly-reliant on the Argentina international
Cesc Fabregas says Lionel Messi's return to training is a "special day" for Barcelona, but warned that the four-time Ballon d'Or winner cannot be expected to shoulder so much responsibility.

The Argentina international has been absent since suffering a hamstring injury in the win over Real Betis back in November.

But the 26-year-old returned to action during an open training session at the club's Minie Estadi training ground on Friday and impressed the 12,000 spectators watching on with an impressive hat-trick in an inter-squad friendly.

"It's a special day for all Barcelona," Fabregas told Barca TV after the match.

"Leo is fine, but do not put all the responsibility on him. He has had only two workouts and recovery is gradual. It will help him later.

"We're happy to have him with us."

Barcelona remain top of La Liga on goal difference ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid and take on Elche on Sunday in their first game since the winter break.