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Messi returns to Barcelona training

ESPN staff
January 4, 2014 « Alonso has 'pick' of Premier League clubs | Chartbeat test »
Lionel Messi back in training

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi says he feels "great" after returning to training following a long injury layoff.

The reigning Ballon d'Or winner has been missing from the Spanish champions since November 10 after picking up a hamstring tear.

But he was back to his best on the training ground, scoring a hat-trick in a practice match.

"It is a great joy to be back working with my team-mates," Messi wrote on social networking sites Tencent Weibo and WeChat. "I feel great."

The comeback was not enough to see Messi make the side to face Elche on Sunday, with manager Gerardo Martino not naming his star player in the 18-man squad.

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