Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is yet to play since the 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid Getty

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has reportedly stepped up his recovery from a groin injury by returning to work with the ball during the Tuesday training session. Mundo Deportivo and Sport insist that the idea of the Ballon D'or is still to play a part during the Saturday game with Deportivo la Coruna in order to arrive fully fit for the Champions League crucial group stage encounter with Manchester City.

Messi picked up a groin injury in his right abductor during the 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid on 21 September, having since missed the following three games with Sporting Gijón, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Celta Vigo and as well the recent international commitments with Argentina.

Barcelona then informed that the Argentine international was expected to be out action for around three weeks, setting his comeback for the current week.

"Messi will be out of action for around three weeks. The Argentine star tore a muscle in his groin in the second half of the game against Atlético Madrid at Nou Camp," Barcelona reported at the time.

The club are yet to provide any update on the rehabilitation but Mundo Deportivo and Sport are reporting that the recovery is going according to the original schedule.

Both Catalan publications informed last week that Messi had already made some light runs on the pitch along with fitness coach Edu Pons in order to enter the last part of the rehabilitation.

Now Mundo Deportivo has provided a new update after claiming that, on Tuesday morning, the Barcelona forward worked with the ball for the first time since suffering the injury.

The report added that Messi is thus expected to join to the training session for good on Thursday in order to play some time against Deportivo on weekend. This way he will gain match fitness to start the crucial Champions League encounter with Manchester City on Wednesday 19 October.

Sport added that the Argentine worked during 20 minutes with the rest of his Barcelona teammates, before continuing the rehabilitation on his own during the second part of the workout. His situation would explain why Messi didn't appear in the pictures provided by Barcelona during a session which also saw the return of Neymar following his international duties with Brazil.