Lionel Messi has been medically cleared to play and will be available to Tito Vilanova when Barcelona square off against Bayern Munich in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals. The Argentine was given the go-ahead by the Barcelona medical staff on Tuesday afternoon, hours before the clash at the Allianz Arena.
Messi injured his hamstring in the first leg of Barcelona's Champions League quarterfinal against Paris Saint-Germain. He was substituted off at halftime and while he was deemed fit enough to come off the bench in the second leg of that tie, he had not played in Barcelona's last three league matches.
Messi was included in the team for the first leg at Bayern without having been deemed fit and available by the medical team. He trained at the Allianz on Monday with the team, but his status for the match was still not confirmed until Tuesday.
Whether Messi starts or not is still up in the air because he has not played much in the last month so his fitness is a concern. Messi showed the difference in Barcelona with and without him in the second leg of the quarterfinals when his introduction gave Barcelona a jolt and led to the goal that would see them through to the semifinals. Barcelona are now left to hope that he can be that jolt from the opening whistle, and now as a substitute.