Liga - Messi misses training before Betis clash

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi missed training on Friday as he battles to regain fitness for the Liga leaders' final few matches of the campaign.

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Lionel Messi has been troubled by a hamstring injury in recent weeks

"The Argentine forward... did physiotherapy work" apart from the rest of his team-mates, Barca said in a statement on their website (

Messi damaged a hamstring just over a month ago and although he had been given the all-clear by medical staff he was unable to feature in Wednesday's Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich.

Coach Tito Vilanova said he had not wanted to risk a more serious injury to the World Player of the Year and Messi had to watch from the bench as Barca were thumped 3-0 in the semi-final second leg for a humiliating 7-0 aggregate reverse.

Barca have an 11-point lead in La Liga over last season's champions Real Madrid in second and need five points from their remaining five games to secure a fourth title in five years.

They host Real Betis on Sunday and if Real Madrid fail to win at home to Real Valladolid on Saturday a Barca victory would be enough as they would be at least 13 points ahead with only 12 left to play for.

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