Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will miss El Clasico on November 21 due to setbacks in his recovery, according to the Catalan daily SPORT.

The Argentine suffered a knee injury during the early stages of his side’s 2-1 win over Las Palmas in late September, and it was initially believed Messi could miss up to eight weeks of action.

Last Wednesday, SPORT reported that the forward’s recovery was running late. But there remained hope Messi would be ready in time for the November 21 clash at the Bernabeu.

However, the publication now understands the player’s recovery has continued to slow down, and Messi doesn’t have enough strength in his knee to begin running continuously.

With nineteen days to go before El Clasico, Messi has not even begun to run. When the forward does begin that phase of his recovery, it will take another three to four weeks until he’s ready to join his Barcelona teammates on the pitch.
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So the four-time Ballon d’Or winner has run out of time in order to be back in shape for the match against Real Madrid.

Barcelona officials have been aware of the fact they could be without Messi’s services for the November 21 showdown in the Spanish capital since he went down in late September.

The Argentine’s injury is a delicate one. And both the player and club have been extremely cautious with the approach of its rehabilitation.

Messi will continue working with physiotherapist Luis Garcia and masseuse Marcelo D’Andrea, with the hope that the forward will be ready for action in the weeks following the match against Real Madrid.

There is no concern that Messi will suffer a relapse of the injury. The focus of the club has always been to ensure that the Argentine’s knee recovers correctly – not quickly.