Messi fit to play

Munich - Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who is struggling to overcome a hamstring injury, is fit to play in the club's Champions League semifinal first-leg against Bayern Munich, the Spanish club's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said on Monday.

"Messi is with the team and is fit to play, although it is ultimately up to the coaching staff to decide," the former Spain goalkeeper told reporters before Barcelona headed to Germany for Tuesday's match.

"We're not going to give up on fielding the best possible side on the pitch," he added.

Four-time world player of the year Messi returned to training with Barca last Friday but the club's medical staff have not yet given him the green light to play.

The Argentine star was injured in the quarterfinal first-leg against Paris Saint-Germain that ended 2-2 in the French capital.

He came on in the return fixture in Barcelona and inspired the home side to strike back from a 1-0 deficit before going through on the away goals rule.

Messi sat out the last two La Liga matches against Zaragoza and Levante to give him time to recover for the match in Munich.

- Sapa

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