Barcelona star Andres Iniesta has handed a major boost to Luis Enrique by returning to training sessions eight days before the visit of Real Madrid on 3 December. However, Arda Turan missed the workout due to fever and looks a doubt for the weekend trip to Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Iniesta was ruled out for between six and eight weeks after damaging the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee during the 3-2 victory over Valencia on 22 October.
But it looks that the captain could return ahead of schedule after he was back in training on Friday morning, exactly five weeks after his injury and only eight days before the first long-awaited El Clasico of the season against Real Madrid.
On Thursday Barcelona already showed a video in which the captain look in a much better shape than expected, working on his own but running and playing with the ball.
The Spanish international star has given another decisive step in his return to full fitness after training with the rest of his teammates on Friday, as Barcelona continue the preparations for the Sunday trip to Real Sociedad.
"The positive news for the team is the return of captain Andrés Iniesta, who trained with the rest of the squad," the club confirmed through an official statement.
Iniesta is not expected to even make the squad on weekend but, with a week to go for the visit of Real Madrid, he looks in line to be able to comeback in El Clasico.
However, Barcelona revealed that out of favour Aleix Vidal and Turan missed the Friday's training session. The first one was not expected to play at the Anoeta Stadium anyway but the absence of the Turkish playmaker could disrupt Luis Enrique's plans, as he is one of the players who has helped to cope with Iniesta's absence in recent weeks.
"Aleix Vidal, with permission from the club, did not train due to personal reasons. Arda Turan was also unable to take part due to a fever. Barça B players Marlon Santos – who made his first team debut in midweek against Celtic – Paik, Moisés, Mujica and Aleñá also joined the session.
Meanwhile, Samuel Umtiti also remains on the side-lines but the club failed to set a deadline day in his recovery, being still uncertain whether the Frenchman will be available for the visit of Real Madrid.
"Samuel Umtiti, meanwhile, continued his recuperation following the injury he picked up over the recent international break," the club just said.