Barca’s Neymar to miss Malaga trip, Messi returns

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Neymar has been left off Barcelona’s squad for Saturday’s Spanish league match at Malaga after the Brazil striker felt “muscle pain” in his left leg.

Lionel Messi, however, has made the squad after missing Wednesday’s Copa del Rey match, also due to muscle pain. With Messi out, Neymar scored to help earn a 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao in their quarterfinal first leg.

The defending champion says the speed of Neymar’s recovery will determine when he returns to the pitch.

Neymar is tied for the league’s second-leading scorer with 16 goals through 20 rounds. Only teammate Luis Suarez has more with 18.

Barcelona trails leader Atletico Madrid by two points and has a match in hand.