Barcelona wing-back Aleix Vidal has given some much needed good news to manager Luis Enrique, after he was declared fit for the crucial La Liga match with Valencia on Saturday (17 April). The versatile defender played no part in the Champions League elimination to Atletico Madrid, missing both legs with injury, but he returned to training on Thursday and will be available for the weekend.
Vidal suffered a muscle injury to his right abductor on 5 April during his side's preparation for the quarter-final first leg against Diego Simeone's side. The former Sevilla full-back consequently missed the European double-header with Los Colchoneros and the 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad in the league.
The club reported at the time the Spaniard was "expected to be out for approximately one week", and only nine days later he has been given the all-clear to train with the rest of his Barcelona teammates. Lionel Messi, meanwhile, was also in the session amid speculations the Argentine has been carrying a muscle injury over the past few weeks.
The news is a significant fillip for manager Luis Enrique following a disastrous run of results that has seen Barcelona wave goodbye to any hopes to become into the first club to win The Treble in consecutive seasons.
Barcelona, who just weeks ago seemed favourites to win all before them, were knocked out from the European competition on Wednesday night after losing to Atletico 3-2 on aggregate. The Catalans have also seen their La Liga hopes damaged in recent weeks after taking just one point from their last three games, with two consecutive defeats to Real Madrid and Real Sociedad.
The match against Valencia has thus become critical as Atletico Madrid and Los Blancos have reduced the gap at the top of La Liga to just four and three points respectively with five games remaining. Luis Enrique will surely welcome the return of Vidal to the squad while Rafinha Alcantara, Sandro Ramirez, Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu are still expected to remain on the sidelines due to injuries.