Messi hands Barcelona new injury blow ahead of clash vs Betis

Lionel Messi seemed to be en route to make his first start in the 2019-20 La Liga season, but a new development could see "La Pulga" miss his second straight game for the Catalan side.

Coach Ernesto Valverde practically ruled out Messi's presence in the first home game for Los Culés this season, since his medical staff has not given the OK to see the Argentine on the pitch. His words in the pre-match presser raised even more doubts on the player's fitness.

"Right now, I am not 100% sure about his availability. He's made progress, but if he is not 100% fit to play, we will not take any chances. We can't afford taking a step backwards in his recovery," Valverde said.

These words were confirmed by Messi's absence from the training session moments later. According to the club, the player is still working to be 100% fit, which makes us believe that he will not take any part of Barcelona's first home game of the season.

Even if Messi made the cut, his presence in the starting lineup seems to be a long-shot, especially when you consider his absence from the last training session before the match.

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