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Messi, Puyol back for Milan-Madrid matches

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Lionel Messi and captain Carles Puyol have returned from injuries and Barcelona expects them to be available for games against AC Milan on Tuesday and Real Madrid on Oct. 26.

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Barcelona team doctors cleared Messi and Javier Mascherano on Friday after right hamstring injuries. Messi was hurt Sept. 28, four days after Mascherano.

The 35-year-old Puyol had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on March 15, three days after he was injured during a Champions League match against AC Milan. He had an additional operation June 19 to remove a cyst.

Messi, Puyol and Mascherno were on the travel roster for Saturday's game at Osasuna, when Barcelona will try to match the Spanish league record of nine straight wins at the season's start, set by Real Madrid in 1968. Dani Alves, Alexis Sanchez and Gerard Pique were left off the travel squad to give them rest after national team appearances.

Forward Isaac Cuenca also received medical clearance on Friday after right knee surgery on June 7.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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