Lionel Messi is on track to return from injury for Barcelona in their game against Real Madrid next month, after taking the first significant steps in his recovery from a serious knee injury.
Goal reported that the Catalan giants are optimistic he'll be able to return to the lineup for the match against Los Blancos on November 22, as he has now come off crutches and moved forward to the second step of his rehabilitation.
The four-time Ballon d'Or winner suffered the damage to his knee against Las Palmas at the end of last month, and spent time immediately after the surgery with his leg immobilised.
Messi will now though work alongside club physio Roger Girones for two weeks, by the end of which time it's hoped that he will be able to run again.
Once he reaches that stage, Messi will be gradually reintroduced into full training in hope that he can get into good enough shape to participate in the biggest game in the Spanish league calendar. Messi was initially set to miss between seven and eight weeks of action and the timeline for his recovery still appears to be fitting to a similar scale.
Nobody from the club or Messi's camp, however, is as yet prepared to actually confirm a date for the player's return.
The 28-year-old will continue his rehabilitation through the international period, though he had to watch on at the weekend as his side were beaten 2-1 by Sevilla in La Liga.
Michael Krohn-Dehli and Vicente Iborra put Barcelona to the sword and despite of a late consolation goal from Neymar, Barca fell to their second league defeat of the season so far.
They currently sit in fourth place in La Liga, though the position isn't too big of a concern at the moment as they sit just a point behind leaders Villarreal.