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Ernesto Valverde: It’s ‘hard to see’ Lionel Messi ready for La Liga debut

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The injured captain could miss the trip to Bilbao

FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-TRAINING Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images

Barcelona finished their preparations of the new season with a wonderful 4-0 win against Napoli and are now back in Catalonia for a few days of training before the official start of the season, next Friday against Athletic Bilbao at San Mamés.

Lionel Messi was the big name missing from the United States tour as the captain suffered a calf injury in his first training session with the squad last Monday and had to withdraw from the trip, and although there are no indications that the injury is serious and that Messi will be forced to miss an extended period of time, he may actually not be ready for the trip to Bilbao.

That’s according to Ernesto Valverde, who spoke on Saturday after the Napoli match and did not seem optimistic about Messi’s chances of taking part in the league debut:

“Messi continues his recovery process and I don’t know if he’ll be there to start the league. It’s hard to see it.”

Ernesto Valverde, source: SPORT

There are some conspiracy theories out there that Messi isn’t actually injured and he just didn’t want to travel to America, but apparently that’s not the case. Messi continues his recovery, and on Sunday he was joined by two special guests: his two sons.

Aw.