Posted: Tue April 23, 2013 1:28PM; Updated: Tue April 23, 2013 1:55PM

Lionel Messi cleared, starting for Barcelona against Bayern

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Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi and Barcelona join Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Dortmund in the semifinals.
JB Autissier/Icon SMI

MUNICH (AP) -- Lionel Messi will start Barcelona's Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich after being declared medically fit following a leg injury.

In a brief statement, the club said Tuesday that "the player has been given the medical all-clear,'' and he was later named up front in the starting lineup.

Messi injured a hamstring on April 2 and has since been sidelined for three Spanish league games.

However, he went on as a substitute in the second half in the return leg against Paris Saint-Germain to help Barcelona come from behind and advance from the quarterfinals two weeks ago.

The four-time FIFA player of the year changed the momentum of that game, demonstrating once again what a crucial asset the Argentina forward is for Barcelona.

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