Messi 'takes longer than expected' to recover from Covid-19
Lionel Messi said on Thursday he needs more time to recover before playing again after contracting Covid-19 earlier this month.
Paris Saint-Germain star Messi, 34, tested positive while on holiday in his hometown of Rosario before flying back to the French capital on January 5.
The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has missed two PSG matches while in self-isolation.
"As you know I had Covid and I wanted to thank you all for the messages I received," Messi posted on Instagram.
"It has taken me longer than I thought to be OK but I'm almost recovered and I'm looking forward to getting back on the field.
"I'm training to get back to being at 100%, great challenges are coming this year and I hope we can see each other again," he added.
Since testing negative last week he has trained alone at PSG's headquarters.
According to ESPN Argentina the former Barcelona attacker will miss this weekend's home Ligue 1 game against Brest.
Messi's club team-mates including Angel Di Maria, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Julian Draxler have also tested positive for coronavirus since the Christmas break.
The Parisians host Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on February 15.