La Liga: Barcelona receive boost ahead of crucial phase as Lionel Messi returns to training
With Barcelona enjoying an 11-point lead at the top of La Liga, Lionel Messi may be rested for Saturday's trip to Sevilla to give him more time to recover.
Barcelona: Lionel Messi returned to training with Barcelona on Thursday to offer the Catalans a boost with less than a week to go before their Champions League clash against Roma.
Messi missed Argentina's two internationals over the last week due to a hamstring strain, although he did train between the 2-0 win over Italy last Friday and Tuesday's 6-1 humiliation by Spain.
"Messi took part in a part of training with the squad," said Barca on their Twitter account.
The 30-year-old five-time world player of the year joined other Barca stars just back from international duty.
With Barca enjoying an 11-point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga, where they are unbeaten all season, Messi may be rested for Saturday's trip to Sevilla to give him more time to recover ahead of the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Roma on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Barca coach Ernesto Valverde had said he was feeling "calm" with regards Messi's potentially availability.
"He has a slight problem but we hope that it's not serious," he said.
Dembele has been left out of Xavi Hernandez's squad to face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey last 16 on Thursday night.
After a stoppage of around 45 minutes at the Benito Villamarin, the Spanish federation (RFEF) confirmed the last-16 game had been abandoned, with the score at 1-1.
After missing the trip to Saudi Arabia, Bale is available to play against Elche on Thursday in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey, when Hazard could also be given minutes.