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Ernesto Valverde doesn’t know if Lionel Messi will be fit to face Athletic Bilbao

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The captain was a second-half substitute against Real Madrid

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Copa del Rey Semi Final Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde admitted he does not know if Lionel Messi will be fit to face Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Sunday.

Guillermo Amor said before kick off on Wednesday that Messi was “100 per cent fit,” according to AS. However, he only played the final half an hour.

Valverde said after the match Barcelona had not wanted to risk Messi but was unsure if he will feature in their next fixture.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I hope so. If he’s fit, he will start.

“Messi is OK but we preferred to not take any risks given the stage of the season we’re at.

“The decision is taken based what I think is best for team and for the player. He ended the other day with a small problem but he felt fine today.”

Source | Sport

Messi could miss out again but hopefully Ousmane Dembele should be fit to return and make his first appearance since spraining his ankle against Leganes.