Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has said that he simply 'could not risk' selecting Lionel Messi for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Inter Milan at San Siro.
Messi travelled with Barcelona to Italy for the European tie, and it had been thought that the Argentine would be included on the bench having returned to training last week.
The 31-year-old suffered a fractured arm less than three weeks ago, however, and Valverde was not prepared to take the risk, despite the attacker being ahead of schedule in his recovery.
"We couldn't risk Messi. Training isn't the same as playing. We talked about it and he understood," Valverde told reporters.
The result, however, was still enough for Barcelona to book their spot in the knockout round of the competition with two matches to spare.