Valverde maintains secrecy over Messi's fitness pre-Athletic

Messi has not started since injuring his thigh against Valencia last weekend

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Messi fue atendido sobre el césped después de recibir un golpe | LALIGA

Since Lionel Messi injured his thigh against Valencia he has not been 100 percent. It's the biggest concern at Barcelona at the moment and Ernesto Valverde, as he showed against Real Madrid, does not want to take any risks with his star player. 

Ivan San Antonio

@sanantheone

On Sunday, Barça travel to Athletic Club in La Liga and there are doubts over Messi's fitness. 

"As is always the case before a training session, we have to wait to see to make a decision," Valverde said on Messi's availability.  

"The other day we didn't want to risk from start [against Madrid] in the Copa [del Rey]. Tomorrow's a similar situation. Let's see what decision we will take. 

"It Will depend on him and how he feels. He's good, but let's see what he tells me (...) if he's 100 percent he will play, if not have to make a decision. 

"Mentally he's fine. We talk a lot. When it's necessary, we speak. There is no problem." 

Messi trained on Saturday ahead of the squad announcement. It's expected he will be in the squad but Valverde will leave it late before deciding whether he's fit to start at San Mames. 

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