Gerard Pique
Pique is a crucial player for Luis Enrique.Getty

Barcelona star Gerard Pique has given manager Luis Enrique some much-needed good news by returning to training on Tuesday morning (12 April), just one day before the Catalans go to Atletico Madrid for the Champions League quarter-final second leg. The news is a massive boost for the Spanish giants after Monday's revelation that both Thomas Vermalen and Rafinha Alcantara could miss the game, following them joining Jeremy Mathieu, Aleix Vidal and Sandro Ramirez on the treatment table.

Pique had also set alarms bells ringing ahead of the crucial European encounter when it emerged the Spain international had missed Monday's workout. Initial reports suggested the former Manchester United defender was a doubt for Wednesday's game. However Mundo Deportivo, reporting information from the usually reliable Radio Cadena Ser, played down the concerns by claiming he was likely to be fit for the European decider, with Barcelona having a slight advantage following a 2-1 victory in the first leg, played at the Nou Camp last week.

The reports added that Pique missed the session after undergoing a routine check due to ongoing struggles in his hip. The Spanish centre-back has reportedly played through discomfort in many games this season, but is not expected to miss the crucial trip to the Vicente Calderon, where his side face a major challenge to keep their hopes of regaining Europe's premier club title alvie.

Luis Enrique feared a crisis in his back-line, as he had already been deprived of the services of Vermaelen and Mathieu for the game, leaving out-of-favour Marc Bartra as the only other option to partner Javier Mascherano if Pique was out. The Barcelona manager, however, has his glass half full after the defender returned to the training sessions on Tuesday to prepare for the game with the rest of his available teammates.

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