Lionel Messi Returns to Face Real Betis Despite Injury

Adrian AgiusAnalyst IDecember 8, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 01:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona duels for the ball with Fernando Amorebieta of Athletic Club during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club at Camp Nou on December 1, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Fear not football fans: Despite being stretchered off the pitch in Barcelona's UEFA Champions League tie against Benfica, Lionel Messi will return on Sunday to face Real Betis in domestic league action.

The news comes after it was thought the injury would jeopardise the Argentine's chances of breaking Gerd Muller's 85-goal scoring feat—Messi sits two goals away from breaking the record.

The FC Barcelona website has confirmed that Messi has been included in Tito Vilanova's squad to travel to Seville. Whilst it isn't guaranteed that Messi will be included in the starting XI for the match, there is no doubt he will make an appearance at some point.

Whilst all seems well and good in Messi's camp, the superstar revealed that he feared sitting on the sidelines for much longer than a month when he initially collided with Benfica goalkeeper Artur.

Messi said, "When I first felt the knock, the pain made me imagine I’d be out for many months. After the tests and finding out that it is not a serious injury, I’m feeling a lot calmer."

With all the talk surrounding Messi's knock dominating headlines, it is easy to have missed the fact that both Daniel Alves and Alexis Sanchez have been cleared to return to first-team action this weekend.

With Barcelona currently enjoying a record start to the season—13 wins from 14 matches—the return of both players could see this record carry on into the new year.

Betis currently lie in fourth position in the league, albeit 15 points behind their opposition.