Barcelona star Lionel Messi might miss the club's opening La Liga match against Athletic Bilbao, as he recovers from an injury.
Messi missed the club's 4-0 friendly match win over Napoli on Saturday night, and coach Ernesto Valverde believes it is 'difficult' to see his key man returning for the match.
"He's in the recovery process and I don't know if he will be ready for the start of La Liga," he told a news conference after a 4-0 win over Napoli in Michigan on Saturday.
"It's looking difficult."
The 32-year-old suffered a calf strain injury that forced him to withdraw from the club's squad that toured the USA for the final leg of the pre-season.
Despite his absence, the team did well in their win over the Italian side, with new signing Antoine Greizmann finally getting off the mark since joining, while Luis Suarez continued with his good form with a brace.
"Goalscorers are always boosted by the chances they get, by goals... it's good for them to have a good relationship with the goal," Valverde said of the France star.
"He had clear chances to score earlier, too. I am happy that all the forwards scored, including him, above all because he gives us a lot in attack with his movement," he added.
Messi has been instrumental for the club, and was once again the star player for the club last season, scoring 51 goals in all competitions.
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