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Messi injury won’t prevent pursuit of record in Seville

Dec 8, 2012, 1:38 PM EDT

Lionel Messi AP

Mid-week, Lionel Messi’s injury looked bad, and more than a few LCD inches were devoted to considering the worst case scenario. You couldn’t help but think the worst after his collision with Benfica goalkeeper Artur. Messi said he didn’t think he’d be playing again for a very long time, given how his left knee felt on Wednesday.

Thankfully, all of that consternation is proving undo worry, with Barcelona’s star declared fit to play tomorrow in Seville against Real Betis:

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova included Messi in his squad for the Spanish league match at Betis on Sunday, saying the forward will play barring a setback.

“(Messi) feels fine, he isn’t bothered (by the knee),” Vilanova said Saturday. “If he is traveling it’s because he’s in condition to play. It there existed even the smallest risk he wouldn’t travel with the team.”

So the chase for the record will continue. Messi sits on 84 goals for the calendar year, one behind the total amassed by German great Gerd Müller in 1972.

It would take a huge slump to miss the record. Before the calendar turns, Messi has five possible matches, three in league and two Copa del Rey meetings with Cordoba.

And the record could very well fall tomorrow. In his last four meetings with Real Betis, Messi has scored six times.

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