Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has refused to confirm that Argentine striker Lionel Messi will be in front of Athletic Bilbao.

Barcelona are set to visit Athletic Bilbao at San Mames on Sunday in the third round of La Liga.

The 31-year-old Messi was suffering from a thigh injury before taking part in the second half against Real Madrid in a semi-final of the King’s Cup on Wednesday.

“It’s a good thing, but I’m not going to risk it,” Valverde said. “We’ll see it as we did in Real Madrid. If we need it, we’ll share it, but we do not want to risk it.”

Barcelona are set to face Olympique Lyon in their first leg of the Champions League on February 19.


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