Mateo Musacchio and Jaume Costa have provided Villarreal manager Marcelino Garcia Toral a massive boost ahead of the Europe League semi-final first leg against Liverpool on Thursday (28 April), with both players returning to training sessions following a long-term spell on the side-lines.
The Spanish club have confirmed the good news through its official TV channel, although it remains uncertain whether the key duo will be ready to make the starting line-up at the Madrigal Stadium on Thursday night.
Musacchio and Costa are two of the starters of the Villarreal back-line, alongside right-backs Mario and Victor Ruiz. However, Garcia Toral has been forced to restructure his defence during the season with the likes of Eric Bailly, Adrian Marin and Antonio Rukavina, due to the recurrent injuries of the duo.
Argentinian international centre-back Musacchio returned to the lines-up in December, after eight months on the side-lines due to a serious ankle injury. Yet, when he was back to full fitness, another problem arose in his hamstring that he picked later in February, forcing him to another spell on the side-lines.
The centre-back has since been unable to play and Garcia Toral recently suggested that he could miss the rest of the campaign due to the issue. However, Villarreal have again confirmed through its official TV channel that the Argentinian made his returned to the training session on Monday (25 April) and could be available for the first-leg with Liverpool.
Costa's situation is a similar one. The left-back returned to action from a long-term injury spell for the Europe League quarter final first-leg with Sparta Prague on 7 April. Yet, an injury sustained only one week after during the second leg against the Czech outfit forced him to miss the three following La Liga games against Rayo Vallecano, Real Madrid and Real Sociedad.
But the club confirmed that the Spaniard was back in "normal training" on Monday (25 April) alongside Musacchio and could be ready to return to the squad for their planned visit to Liverpool. Yet, they add that the coming workouts will define whether they are fitness ready to make the starting line-up.
Meanwhile, Villarreal claim that Bailly is also expected to be available, despite reports that the Ivory Coast defender couldn't complete the whole game during their weekend 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad due to a fitness scare. Marcelino Garcial Toral thus could have all his squad available for the European encounter, with the sole exception of Leo Baptistao, who remains on the side-lines after he already missed the clash with the Basque side.