MADRID (AFP) - World Player of the Year Lionel Messi returned to full training with his Barcelona teammates on Monday for the first time since suffering a thigh injury two weeks ago.
The Argentine was forced off with the problem in the 2-0 win over Almeria on Sept 29 after scoring his 11th goal in just nine appearances this season to give his side the lead in that game.
Messi stayed in Barcelona to continue his recuperation process rather than travelling to represent his country with Alejandro Sabella's men set to take on Copa America champions Uruguay in Montevideo on Tuesday.
And it is expected that the 26-year-old will be fit enough to start Barca's match away to Osasuna on Saturday ahead of a big week for the Spanish champions as they travel to AC Milan in the Champions League before hosting Real Madrid on Oct 26.
There was further good news on the injury front for Barca boss Gerardo Martino as centre-backs Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano also took part in the training session.
Puyol hasn't played since undergoing knee surgery in March, but is expected to be given the green light to return to action later this week.
And Mascherano should also feature against Osasuna after recovering from a hamstring problem.