Lionel Messi contracted coronavirus while back home in Argentina for the holidays
Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi has admitted it took than hoped for him to recover from a Covid-19 infection but assured fans he is looking forward to returning to action.
Messi tested positive for the virus while back in hometown Rosario during a break which included scenes of the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner at different parties - leading to one DJ receiving death threats over claims he had infected the football icon.
Messi has since tested negative and returned to Paris, and issued a message on his progress to his 300 million Instagram followers on Thursday alongside wife Antonela Roccuzzo after being absent from the squad for PSG's opening two fixtures of 2022.
"As you know I had Covid and I wanted to thank you for all the messages I received and tell you that it took me longer than I thought to be well," wrote the 34-year-old icon.
"But I'm almost recovered and I am really looking forward to getting back on the pitch.
"I have been training these days to get 100%, very nice challenges are coming this year and hopefully very soon we can see each other again. Thank you!"
While Saturday's Ligue 1 fixture with Brest may be too soon for PSG to welcome their star man back, beyond that they play Reims - also in Paris - on January 23, by which time the Argentine icon may well be up to full speed.
With an 11-point cushion at the top of the Ligue 1 table, Mauricio Pochettino's men are odds-on to recapture the league title they relinquished in surprising circumstances to Lille last season.
The biggest challenge for Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Co. in the coming weeks likely lies in the form of their Champions League last-16 meeting with Spanish giants Real Madrid - the first leg of which is in the French capital on February 15.