23 february 2017, Updated 05:45h


Messi to undergo small kidney operation

The Barcelona star, in theory, will miss the Valencia game and return to training on Thursday

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Albert Masnou | 8.2.2016 | 18:15h.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will undergo a small procedure on Tuesday to solve the same kidney problem which kept him out of the Club World Cup semi-final in December. 

The club had suggested he had been given two days off to solve personal problems. 

However, SPORT have learned that the reality is that Messi will have a minor operation on Tuesday to solve the persistent kidney problem.  

Messi will be able to return home on the same day of the operation and in principle will be back in training on Thursday.

Leo Messi did not train on Monday with his team-mates and the club said that personal reasons were behind his absence and that Luis Enrique had granted permission. Rafinha was the only other player to miss the session, which featured several B team players. 

After the win over Levante, Barcelona return to action on Wednesday in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Valencia. 

Following a 7-0 first leg win, Luis Enrique is able to take advantage of his squad and give certain players a rest. Messi will therefore be among those who don't feature at Mestalla.