Argentine national team duo Leo Messi and Javier Mascherano flew into Barcelona on Thursday morning following their international duty in the United States, where Messi, the four-time Ballon d'Or winner, was rested against Paraguay and Ecuador due to a right foot injury suffered in Barcelona's Champions League win over Manchester City two weeks ago.
The inflammation in Messi's foot was so bad that he couldn't even put on a boot at one point, but the South American duo showed up to the Tito Vilanova training ground on Thursday morning, and Barcelona has confirmed they went through warm-ups with the team.
'Leo Messi and Javier Mascherano landed in Barcelona this morning and came to the Ciutat Esportiva despite having off until Friday. The two Argentinians jogged and stretched on their own. The swelling in Messi’s foot has improved and he will try to join in with the other international players on Friday', the club said.
Messi's progress has given the team hope that La Liga's leading goal-scorer will be fit to face Celta Vigo in Balaidos on Sunday and help the team maintain their four point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the league.
Marc Bartra, Marc Andre ter Stegen, Rafinha and Ivan Rakitic also rejoined the team fresh from international duty.