Barcelona have said that Lionel Messi's recovery from a hamstring tear is on schedule, meaning he should be back in January.
On their official website, Barca said club doctor Richard Pruna and director of sport Andoni Zubizarreta travelled to Argentina to check on his recovery from the injury, which he suffered away to Real Betis last month.
Messi, 26, has been in his home country since Nov. 29, working on what Barcelona have described as the "second phase" of his recovery programme at Argentina's FA. He will undergo further tests on Friday to determine whether he can begin the third phase.
Pruna performed a physical examination and ultrasound on Wednesday, with the results revealing that Messi was "making good progress".
Messi has not played since Nov. 10, and Barcelona -- joint top of La Liga along with Atletico Madrid -- have lost two games without him.
He has blamed bad luck for his run of injury problems and urged people to stop "inventing strange reasons" for them.