Lionel Messi is recovering faster than expected, according to the latest reports. If the Argentina star's progress so far is anything to go by, it is possible that the No.10 could make a glorious return for Barcelona when they face Manchester City in the Champions League on October 19th.
Those in charge of the Argentina national team, however, don't seem to happy about the latest developments:
Edgardo Bauza, Argentina coach, said: "Lionel Messi is worried about his injury. We all need Messi and we all want him, that's why between us we have to take care of him."
Jorge Miadosqui, Argentina's national team secretary, went slightly further and explained: "Messi doesn't look after himself because he always wants to play. We all want him to be in this team, but you have to believe that you can get good results without him. We have great players to do that and we have to be calm. I think that the national team looks after players in the best way."
Although the reports indicating Messi's positive journey to fitness are encouraging, there is simply no need to accelerate his return unless he is confidently ready to do so -- his future health is far more important than earning a couple of positive results in the short term.
Many Cules would argue that Barca drop their level of performance alarmingly whenever Messi is not playing -- an opinion which I do share. However, such difference is not down to La Pulga himself, but those who are played in his absence. Plus, the team's results during his periods of absence are ultimately beyond the No.10's control.
It is down to Luis Enrique and the rest of his players to compensate for Messi's absence. The Asturian manager's team selections during this period have been controversial to say the least and the poor results of late are a direct reflection of his decisions -- and we shouldn't blame key players such as Sergio Busquets or Marc Andre Ter Stegen for their sporadic mistakes.
It is clear that the No.10's recent struggles with injuries are caused by his unstoppable desire to play every minute of every game in every competition. If experience is anything to go by, La Pulga would be wise to listen to team doctors and only feature when the risk of yet another injury is minimal.