Messi fit for Argentina exhibitions

Saturday 19 Mar 2011

Argentina coach Sergio Batista says Barcelona star Lionel Messi has recovered from a right knee injury and will be ready to play upcoming exhibition games against the United States and Costa Rica


Batista said Friday he had talked with Messi and had been assured the world’s top player was ready to go. Messi trained with his Barcelona teammates on Friday for the first time since knocking knees with Sevilla goalkeeper Javi Varas last weekend and figures to play Saturday against Getafe.

Argentina will play the United States on March 26 in East Rutherford, N.J., and Costa Rica on March 29 in a new stadium in San Jose.

Batista also said that starting goalkeeper Sergio Romero of AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands would miss the matches. He said the club notified Argentine officials, although Batista did not explain why Romero would be absent.

He said Mariano Andjuar of Italian club Catania would start in goal and Agustin Marchesin of Argentine club Lanus would be the backup.

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