Lionel Messi: Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino hopeful striker will be fit for Manchester City game

Lionel Messi: Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino hopeful striker will be fit for Manchester City game

Lionel Messi could return from a bone bruising injury in time to face Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino has said.

Messi suffered a knock on his left knee and an MRI scan earlier this week confirmed signs of a bone contusion. He missed PSG’s 2-1 victory at Metz on Wednesday, and will again be absent when they face Montpellier.

The 34-year-old Argentine forward, who joined the French club from Barcelona on a two-year contract in August, will be assessed again on Sunday – ahead of the Champions League home game against City on Tuesday.

“Messi has started to run today. We are going to assess him and we hope he improves,” Pochettino told reporters on Friday.

“Let’s wait for him to come back, but in any case we have to be cautious and in the next days we will see his progress.

“On Sunday, we will be able to give a positive update. We hope everything goes well and he will be available again. Yes, we hope he can play (against City). We have to be cautious.”

Pochettino said the City match will not affect his selection on Saturday, with Angel Di Maria expected to play the league game as he remains suspended in the Champions League after his red card in last season’s semis against the Premier League side.

“We will see, there are different options and different systems. We will see who gives the team the right balance. We also have the flexibility to change as we go,” Pochettino added.

AP - Mauricio Pochettino
Image:
PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino says he will exercise caution as Messi continues his recovery from a knee injury

“Mauro Icardi is a player who contributed a lot up until his injury. He then recovered and has made a big impact. Of course, he offers us an alternative in our attack.”

PSG midfielder Marco Verratti will return to training on Sunday while defender Sergio Ramos, who has yet to make his club debut, continues to train individually as he recovers from a calf injury.

Montpellier lost their two main goal scorers from last season – Andy Delort and Gaetan Laborde – in the transfer window but Pochettino said he was still wary of the side who have already scored 15 league goals, second behind PSG’s 20.

“They work very hard and we’ve seen that in our preparations,” Pochettino said. “They have quality players and it’s not just their fast transitions, they can also develop their play and they are patient in their build-up.

“They are a team that plays attractive football. We’re expecting them to make it difficult for us.”

PSG are top of the Ligue 1 standings with a perfect win record from seven games while Montpellier are 10th.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *