Copa America: Martino Declares Messi For Panama Clash

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has revealed that injured star Lionel Messi will be available to play against Panama in their Copa America clash on Friday.

Messi sustained a back injury against Honduras on May 27, and only joined up with his teammates last Friday, but was limited to jogging and light work with the ball.

The Barcelona superstar was an unused substitue in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Chile, as the Albiceleste prevailed thanks to goals from Angel Di Maria and Ever Banega. Nicolas Gaitan took Messi’s place in the line-up and impressed.

“Everything has to do with [Messi] being healthy, in a good condition to play the next game,” Martino was quoted by ESPN.

“He had a very hard blow versus Honduras. After the trip he started working in Barcelona. He was working in the physical aspect a lot. He continued working here. He is kicking the ball better now. We expect that in four days he will be in condition to play. We’re thinking that he will recover by then.”

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