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Messi joins Argentina training ahead of Italy clash

Update: March, 21/2018 - 11:00
Brazilian superstar Neymar arrives at Rio de Janeiro after flying from Paris on March 1 ahead of the successful operation on his fractured foot. — AFP Photo
Viet Nam News

LONDON — Lionel Messi joined up with his Argentina team-mates on Tuesday as they trained at Manchester City ahead of their World Cup warm-up against Italy.

Messi’s side are based at the Football Academy of Premier League leaders City while they prepare for the friendly at Eastlands on Friday.

The Barcelona forward arrived to start working with the rest of the squad on Tuesday and was present at a training session open to media in the afternoon.

Also present but not participating was City striker Sergio Aguero, who has been sidelined with a knee injury recently.

Another City player, defender Nicolas Otamendi, was involved along with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano and Marcos Rojo.

Neymar ’going well’

Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said on Tuesday that Neymar’s recovery from foot surgery "is going well", as the star forward bids to be fit for the World Cup in Russia.

Lasmar, who operated on Neymar on March 3, said he speaks "two or three time a day" with the physiotherapists working with the Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain player.

"For now, everything is going well, they tell me every detail of Neymar’s recovery," Lasmar told French sports daily L’Equipe.

"They are working hard and in a very professional way so that he can return as quickly as possible and, above all, so there won’t be any further problems for his foot or posture."

He added that he planned to reassess the injury in mid-April.

Neymar, who missed Brazil’s 7-1 semi-final thrashing on home soil by Germany through injury four years ago, is key to his country’s hopes at this year’s World Cup, which starts on June 14.

At the time of the operation, Lasmar said Neymar would be out for between "two-and-a-half to three months".

The 26-year-old, who joined PSG for a world-record 222 million euros (US$264 million) from Barcelona last year, suffered a fractured bone in his right foot last month in a match against Marseille.

Record five-time winners Brazil open their World Cup campaign against Switzerland in Rostov on June 17, ahead of further Group D matches with Costa Rica and Serbia. — AFP

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