Jordi Alba
Jordi Alba has been in terrific form this season. Getty Images

Barcelona star Jordi Alba has allayed fears over his fitness after returning to full training two days before the first El Clasico of the La Liga season at Real Madrid on Saturday [23 December].

Gerard Deulofeu was also back in training after missing the 4-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruña on Sunday [17 December] due to a minor muscle injury.

Samuel Umtiti is expected to be the major Barcelona absentee to face Real as the France centre-back, Paco Alcacer and Arda Turan continued their respective recovery process on their own on Thursday [21 December].

Alba has rediscovered his best form during the opening part of the season after he was restricted to a secondary role during Luis Enrique's last season on charge.

Ernesto Valverde has given him more freedom to attack following Neymar's departure and the Spain international has made the most of the opportunity.

The 28-year-old left-back has provided six assists in the 15 opening La Liga games of the season and he also scored a crucial goal in the recent 1-1 draw at Valencia following a superb cross from Lionel Messi.

Alba set alarms bells ringing at the Nou Camp ahead of the trip to Real when on Wednesday [20 December] Barcelona revealed that he and Arda Turan had missed the training session.

The Catalans didn't disclose the reason behind Alba's absence but fans had feared the worst ahead of the highly-anticipated El Clasico. The Spain left-back was replaced due to an unspecified reason in the second half of the 4-0 win over Deportivo la Coruna on Sunday.

But Alba has allayed those concerns after returning to training on Thursday with the La Liga leaders stepping up their preparations for the trip to Real.

"Two days out from the year-closing Clásico in Madrid, the FC Barcelona first team continued their preparations on the Tito Vilanova pitch at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. The Thursday session saw Gerard Deulofeu on the pitch, as well as Jordi Alba training with the rest of this teammates after a day of specific work on Wednesday. Joining the first team for the session was Barça B's Carles Aleñá," Barcelona confirmed in the club website.

"Ernesto Valverde's men face Real Madrid this Saturday, in what is the first edition of El Clásico in the 2017/18 LaLiga season. Before that, the squad will undertake one final training session on Friday, ahead of their trip to the Spanish capital."

Ousmane Dembele and Rafinha Alcantara also trained with the rest of their Barcelona teammates but it remains uncertain whether the two long-term injury casualties and Deulofeu will make their comebacks in El Clasico.

Valverde, meanwhile, also promoted 19-year-old midfielder Carles Aleña from the second team to training with Umtiti and Alcacer sidelined due to different injuries.

Barcelona are currently 11 points ahead of Real in the La Liga table but Zinedine Zidane's side have a game in hand to be played against Leganes following their participation in the FIFA Club World Cup last week.