Barcelona star Rafinha Alcantara could face Real Madrid on 23 April after scans revealed his latest knee injury is not as bad as first feared. The Brazil international is ruled out for the visit of Sevilla on Wednesday night, but Mundo Deportivo and Sport both understand he should be available in around 15 days.
Rafinha has been hit by five different injuries since the beginning of the campaign.
Despite this, the 24-year-old has still become a key player for Luis Enrique due to his versatility across the pitch – recently being first choice to cover the Barcelona right-back spot since the switch to 4-4-2 formation.
Furthermore, the former Celta Vigo loanee has scored 7 goals and laid on a further five in 28 appearances for the club.
However, many feared that his season was over at the weekend after Rafinha was forced off early during the 4-1 win over Granada with a knee injury. The versatile midfielder already missed much of last season after suffering a cruciate ligament in the same knee during a game against Roma in September 2015.
Barcelona provided an uncertain update on Monday (3 April) after revealing the player needed to wait a further 48 hours to know the severity of the issue.
"Tests carried out today confirm that first-team player Rafinha has slightly injured the internal meniscus in his right knee. His development over the next 48 hours will decide what is the best course of treatment to follow for the midfielder," the club confirmed.
Reports at the time suggested that the Barcelona star was going to be out of action for at least one month, missing the two legs of the Champions League quarter finals against Juventus (11 April and 19 April) and the trip to Real Madrid.
The news is a big boost for the La Liga giants as even though he will miss the Champions League quarter-finals he could be ready for the hotly anticipated El Clasico at Real Madrid on 23 April.
Meanwhile, Barcelona face Leganes on Wednesday night (5 April) in search of a victory to keep the pressure on Los Blancos at the top of the table, where they sit two points behind Real Madrid.
Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal are also out through injury but Luis Enrique recalls Lionel Messi after the Argentina international missed the weekend win over Granada due to suspension.