Of course, the four-time Ballon d'Or winner is deserving of the time he'll require to get back up to speed, but Lionel Messi has yet to regain that unique trait that separates him from other game changers.
Wednesday's outing didn't come without its fair share of frustrations, and although Barca spent a lot of time knocking at the opponents' door, the home side seldom showed the necessary skills to unlock it.
Usually, Messi is looked upon as the talisman who can provide that difference, but the Argentinian was more sluggish than his usual self for stretches.
The 26-year-old scored his first La Liga goal since returning from injury against Valencia last weekend, but his contributions were in vain as Barca suffered a 3-2 defeat to Los Che.
It's no been some time since he has given one of his characteristic, one-man-army displays, and whether it's psychological or something much more metaphysical, one could argue that the forward is under some strain to impress right now.
That's not to say his most recent outing wasn't impressive; in fact, he was the busiest of any attacker. However, it was more a case of plenty of huff and not enough puff.