Argentina are confident striker Lionel Messi will be fit for their World Cup campaign but say he may not be risked before the tournament starts.

The 18-year-old Barcelona prodigy has not played competitively since picking up the thigh injury in the Champions League win over Chelsea at the beginning of March.

Argentina coach Jose Nester Pekerman said Messi was getting “better every day” in overcoming his thigh injury.

“But we don’t want to make mistakes with his recovery,” said Pekerman.

Pekerman is determined not to rush Messi back saying, but Messi himself doubts whether he will start the opening match against Ivory Coast on June 10.

“I don’t think I’ll be in the team. I haven’t played much, I’ve been out of action for some time,” he said.

“I know I still have some way to go, but I’m relaxed, I know I have to keep working and feel better each day.

“I think I’ll get into rhythm in the time left before the World Cup. I want to play the final and I hope we meet Brazil.”