Andres Iniesta could be ready to return to action in the coming La Liga game with Athletic Club Bilbao on Saturday (4 February) after Barcelona confirmed that the club captain was back in training on Thursday morning. However, the presence of Sergio Busquets and Lucas Digne against the Basque side remains uncertain after both players missed the Copa del Rey 2-1 victory at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.
Iniesta, 32, has been out of action since suffering a soleus injury in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals against Real Sociedad on 19 January, being forced off at half-time and replaced by Andre Gomes.
The captain has since missed the past four games, including the win over Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals. However, only a day later the captain was back in training and it looks like he has a chance to return in time for the La Liga visit of Athletic Club.
"The mood was naturally buoyant following events at the Vicente Calderon the night before, but there was an added reason for cheer at the Ciutat Esportiva with Gerard Pique celebrating his 30th birthday. And the smiles didn't stop there, because there was further good news when Andres Iniesta took to the field. The first-team captain is well on the road to recovery from the left soleus injury that he picked up against Real Sociedad and was able to join his colleagues for today's workout," Barcelona confirmed on its official website.
Luis Enrique already saw his midfielder options boosted on Wednesday night after Rafinha Alcantara returned to action at the Vicente Calderon, replacing Andre Gomes in the 72nd minute of the game.
However, Sergio Busquets and Digne missed that game with Atletico and neither of them appeared in the video released by Barcelona during the workout. Javier Mascherano and Jordi Alba covered the holding role and the left-back against Atletico and could thus continue in the line-up to face Athletic if the Spaniard and the Frenchman remain out. Yet, Luis Enrique Ivan Rakitic, Gomes and even Sergi Roberto could also fill Busquet's gap as they have done in recent games.