Paris Saint-Germain will still be without Lionel Messi for their Ligue 1 match against Brest, the club confirmed.
The Argentine is expected to rejoin the squad next week.
Messi was ruled out of PSG’s 1-1 draw with Lyon due to a COVID-19 positive test, and the Parisians managed just three shots on target in his absence, struggling to convert their possession dominance.
“Having made good progress, Lionel Messi is continuing to work with the club’s medical and performance staff, and will gradually rejoin the squad next week”, read a fitness update issued by the club.
It was also brought up in the pre-match news conference by the club’s boss Mauricio Pochettino, who declined to comment on whether or not Lionel Messi will depart Paris for Argentina’s World Cup Qualifiers at the end of January.
“No, Leo is not available for Saturday”, the former Tottenham boss said. “Leo is better, but he is still under the supervision of the medical department.
“We hope he can be back in the squad as soon as possible.”
Pochettino was perplexed when asked whether Messi has decided not to represent the national team in their next fixtures, saying: “I don’t know what decision you are referring to.
“He is being assessed daily, and we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We hope everyone is back as soon as possible, to be available for the team.”
Meanwhile, while Pochettino refused to speculate on Neymar’s rehabilitation, he confessed that the Parisians had missed him, with the league leaders winning just one of their five Ligue 1 matches since the winger sustained ankle ligament damage in November.
“Neymar is following his recovery plan.
“He is a very important player. He has tremendous quality, and I think that any team would miss a player like Neymar”.
According to RMC Sport, Neymar might make his long-awaited comeback against French champions Lille on February 6, allowing him time to acclimate ahead of PSG’s massive UEFA Champions League clash with Real Madrid on February 15.
Neymar has three goals and three assists in ten Ligue 1 matches this season, and his performance will be critical to Pochettino’s ambitions of bringing the Champions League title to Paris.