Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta has delivered a positive update on his latest injury after claiming that he expects to be ready to return to action soon.
The 33-year-old midfielder has been plagued by different muscle problems since the beginning of the campaign.
Iniesta has avoided a long spell on the sidelines so far but he has missed nine games since August, including four in La Liga and two in the Champions League.
Furthermore, the Barcelona maestro has only completed one La Liga game during that time with manager Ernesto Valverde giving his captain plenty of rest ahead of the second half of the season.
On Sunday [14 January], Iniesta was an unused substitute for the 4-2 victory over Real Sociedad as his side were battled back from a 2-0 down.
Then there were suggestions that the Barcelona captain was not 100% fit to play and a day later the club confirmed the Spaniard had suffered a new problem in his calf.
"Andres Iniesta has a problem in his right calf and his recovery will determine his return to action for the coming matches," the La Liga leaders informed on Monday through an official statement.
The Barcelona captain was consequently unavailable to help his side to avoid a 1-0 defeat to Espanyol in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final played at the Cornella Stadium on Wednesday [17 January] night.
But Iniesta has suggested that he should be available soon ahead of a crucial week which will see Barcelona visit Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday [21 January] before hosting Espanyol in the second leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final on Thursday [25 January].
"Lucky the [injuries] that I have suffered have not been serious. I have muscle fatigue due to different circumstances but I'm working to get back as soon as possible and I do not think it will take me too long," Iniesta said on Thursday evening as quoted by Sport.
The news will be a boost for Valverde with the Barcelona boss currently without five players in the form of Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Samuel Umititi, Javier Mascherano and Paco Alcacer.
Furthermore, Paulinho also appeared to picked up a problem in his foot during the defeat to Espanyol with the Brazilian replaced by Ivan Rakitic in the second half.
Meanwhile, Barcelona confirmed that the rest of the squad participated in a recovery session on Thursday [18 January] to begin preparations for the trip to Betis.
Valverde promoted some youngsters from the Barcelona B team to the session but Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba were absent.
"FC Barcelona put the Copa del Rey to one side on Thursday, as their focus shifted to this weekend's meeting with Real Betis at the Benito Villamarin (Sunday, 8:45pm CET). The game marks the start of the second half of the LaLiga season, with Barça leading the way in the competition. The first match against Betis this term, which opened the 2017/18 campaign, ended 2-0 at the Camp Nou," the club said.
"The training session saw the players put through the paces on Pitch 3 of the Ciutat Esportiva. Luis Suárez, Messi and Jordi Alba sat out the session with coach Ernesto Valverde's permission. Joining the first team squad were Barça B's Aleñá, Ezkieta, Palencia, Fali, David Costas, R. De Galarreta and Cucurella."