FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has responded to a horde of questions about the possible return of Lionel Messi by playing down the importance of his return for the game, but stating that the recovery of the Argentine is going “very well”.

Messi was injured on the 26th of September for 8 weeks, and with FC Barcelona due to face Real Madrid on 21st November, there is an air of expectation that the Argentine superstar will be fit to face the league leaders.

Enrique reveals Messi recovery going “very well”

Asked about how Messi’s recovery was going, the coach was quoted as saying by AS: “Very well. Is that too short an answer? With Messi we’re much stronger, no doubt about it, but we have a great team and lots of resources — we’ve taken a step forward. Behind it all is some serious hard work.”

Prevention of relapse of the injury to Messi is the priority for Enrique

When asked about the forward’s prospects of returning against Real Madrid for the clash on 21st November, the manager downplayed the pressure on the Argentine by stating that he would rather avoid a relapse than put Messi in a race against time to be fit for the crucial tie.

He told reporters: “There’s nothing worse for a player than relapse. We want him to recover properly.”

Adding further on the team’s performance of late, the manager said: “We always review how other teams get at us and try to correct individual mistakes.

“We’re in one of our better moments, we still have defensive aspects we can improve on — every defensive situation can be improved.”

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FC Barcelona have kept three clean sheets in a row following a rather poor run defensively which saw them concede in eight consecutive games. They are second in table to Real Madrid on goal difference now, as they prepare to face Villarreal at the Camp Nou, with Madrid playing tonight.