Lionel Messi injury: Barcelona scared striker could miss Real Madrid showdown

Lionel MESSI double secures draw for FC Barcelona against Valencia

Messi under injury cloud ahead of Copa Clasico

But the Argentina global sustained a thigh injury and is now a doubt for Wednesday's Copa del Rey semi-final first leg at home to arch-rivals Real Madrid. Valverde said the Frenchman trained separately on Monday and was set to join the rest of the squad for Tuesday's session. "I cannot guess anything but we imagine that it can't be too bad".

Real coach Santiago Solari hopes the Barcelona captain is fit to face his side in the first leg for the good of the game, but added the Argentine's presence would not affect his game plan.

"When we prepare the game obviously we have the reference of the players and how they performed [in the 5-1], but there was a different morale [at Madrid] at that time, that counts for a lot".

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"Fixtures lists are always hard at this time of year, throughout January, and with this semi-final with two top-level games, league games and the Champions League starting soon, we all need to be careful", Valverde added.

Both teams had enjoyed remarkable comebacks during the week to reach the Copa del Rey semifinals, with Barca thrashing Sevilla 6-1 to win 8-3 on aggregate and Valencia seeing off Getafe 3-1 for a 3-2 aggregate win with two goals in stoppage time. "The most important thing is the player tells you he is ready".

Valverde said he would make a final decision on Messi after consulting with the player and the club's medical team.

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"They were in a completely different place then, which needs to be taken into consideration", he said of Madrid, who have won seven of their last eight matches in all competitions.

The draw presented Atletico Madrid, playing on Sunday, the chance to close the gap at the top to three points. Although the statistic is quite staggering, Ernesto Valverde, will be wary of what the over dependency on one man can cost as we progress to the end of the season.

Valencia hold Barcelona at Camp Nou
That's because the Argentine suffered a worrying injury in Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Valencia on Saturday. That sprung a counterattack led by Rodrigo Moreno , who slipped a pass forward to set up Gameiro.

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