Barcelona won’t risk Lionel Messi until he is fully fit, says Luis Enrique

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Barcelona manager Luis Enrique insists he will not rush Lionel Messi back in time for El Clasico against Real Madrid on November 21.

Messi has been out of action since late September after picking up a knee injury in the 2-1 win over Las Palmas.

Barcelona have won two and lost one of their La Liga games since, but Enrique says he wants Messi back to 100 per cent before playing.

“There is no set recovery date for Messi,” he said. “The most important thing for him is to be 100 per cent fit again. It does not matter when he returns. The season is still long.

“We are not thinking about the Clasico yet. What is important to me is winning the league. We have to sit top of the table come the end of the season.

“The Clasico will not decide the title race. What matters to me right now is scoring more goals, conceding less and winning games. Those are realistic targets.”

Barcelona are second in La Liga after nine games, level on points with leaders Real Madrid, and have had to rely on goals from Neymar and Luis Suarez in recent weeks during Messi’s absence.

And Enrique, whose side travel to Getafe on Saturday, is not worried by the perceived lack of firepower at the club.

He added: “We have improved in front of goal in recent weeks and we continue to create plenty of chances. It is something that we are not worried about.”

credit: skysports