The Barcelona star's injury scare is over -- he will play on Sunday.
Lionel Messi's knee injury is a thing of the past. Just four days after sending the world into panic when he was carted off in Barcelona's Champions League match against Benfica, Messi will be on the field when the Catalans clash with Real Betis on Sunday in La Liga action, Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova confirmed on Saturday.
"(Messi) feels fine, he isn't bothered (by the knee)," Vilanova said. "If he is traveling, it's because he's in condition to play. It there existed even the smallest risk, he wouldn't travel with the team."
Vilanova did not say whether Messi would start or come off the bench, but that he is available puts him back in the running to break Gerd Mueller's record for most goals in a year. Mueller scored 85 goals for Bayern Munich and West Germany in 1972 and Messi is just one behind, sitting on 84 goals for Barcelona and Argentina in 2012.
Messi was injured trying to sidestep the goalkeeper in Wednesday's 0-0 Champions League draw, but a collision bruised his knee. The way he fell to the turf and the image of him being carted off the field sparked concerns that Messi was seriously injured, but scans confirmed that it was just a bruise. He was back in the gym the following day and his time on the sidelines will be a whopping four days.