Some eyebrows were raised as Lionel Messi travelled to Milan with the Barcelona squad for their Champions League clash against Inter, despite remaining sidelined with a broken arm.
There had been some tentative suggestions Messi could make a return ahead of schedule for the game, but he watched on from the stands as the two European juggernauts played out a 1-1 draw.
Messi and Ernesto Valverde reportedly decided after training on Monday that they would honour the initial three-week prognosis and not risk the Argentine against Inter.
But they were still keen for Messi to make the trip to Milan in his role as captain of the Blaugrana to be around his teammates for any support.
Barca are desperate for a first Champions League crown since 2015 this term having seen Clasico rivals Real Madrid win the trophy for the last three years.
They are almost certain of a place in the last 16 after winning each of their first three group games before Tuesday’s draw in Milan.
Malcom gave the Catalan giants the lead in the 83rd minute but they were pegged back by Mauro Icardi three minutes from time.
Barca are three points clear of Inter after four matches, and six points clear of Spurs, who kept their hopes of progression alive with a 2-1 win over PSV Eindhoven at Wembley.
Harry Kane struck twice in the second half for Mauricio Pochettino’s side after Luuk De Jong had given the Dutch outfit a second-minute lead.
Messi sustained the broken arm in the 4-2 win over Sevilla on October 18 and has not appeared for his side since.
Prior to his injury, Messi scored 12 goals in all competitions this season in only 12 games, including a hat-trick against PSV at the Nou Camp and two strikes against Spurs at Wembley.
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