Reports from Spain this morning will be music to the ears of Barcelona fans around the globe, as Lionel Messi continues to make progress on his hamstring injury, according to BBC Sport.

The 26-year-old Argentine has been missing for the Catalan giants since early November, when taken off in the away tie to Real Betis.

Club doctor Richard Pruna has said that Messi is "making good progress" with his injury.  The news means that Messi is still in line to return to action for Barcelona in January - news which Manchester City fans will not have wanted to hear.

Messi and Co face Manuel Pellegrini's City side in the last-16 of the Champions League, with the first tie at the the Etihad Stadium falling on February 18th.  

And with City in such free scoring home at present, Barca will need Messi if they are to try and steal a goal or two before the home tie at Camp Nou.

Despite Messi's absence, Barcelona are still joint top with Atletico Madrid, and summer signing Neymar has been in sensational form.  

The prized Brazilian forward has taken little time to adapt to his new surroundings, and has been influential with goals in both La Liga and the Champions League.  

Neymar's form was clear for all to see in the recent romp against Celtic, where he tore the Scottish Champions defence to pieces, scoring a hat-trick.

But Messi's return will be much anticipated following what will be quite a lengthy absence by the end of his injury.  And with the partnership that himself and Neymar were forming in the early stages of the season, Barca fans will see this news as a huge boost, especially with Manchester City to come after the New Year.

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