Lionel Messi, Neymar and Gerard Pique were the main absentees in the Barcelona training session on Thursday morning as the Catalans begin the preparations for the hotly-anticipated trip to Real Madrid on Sunday (23 April). However, Arda Turan completed the workout after missing the disappointing goalless draw against Juventus on Wednesday which meant the Catalans were eliminated from the Champions League quarter-finals.
Messi, Neymar and Pique played the full 90 minutes of the game against the Italian giants as the Catalans were trying to turnaround a 3-0 deficit from the reverse fixture played in Turin last week. However, Barcelona failed to make another comeback and waved goodbye to the Champions League in the quarter-finals for the second year in a row.
The Barcelona players returned to the club training ground only hours later, as in only three days they will have to visit Real Madrid in a game which is expected to be decisive to their hopes to reignite the La Liga title.
The Catalans cannot afford another defeat to Real Madrid as they sit in second position in the table, three points behind Los Blancos who still have one game in hand.
However, Messi, Neymar and Pique didn't appeared in the images or the video released by Barcelona during the workout.
Reports in Spain claim that the absence of Messi and Pique were only precautionary as they probably ended the game against Juventus with some niggles which shouldn't prevent them for playing El Clasico. Meanwhile, the Brazilian international will miss the clash with Real Madrid anyway – barring an appeal – due to a three-game ban.
The video, however, showed Turan training with no problems alongside the rest of his available teammates as the Turkish international continues the recovery from a groin injury which have kept him on the sidelines for the last three weeks.
The former Atletico Madrid star has been training with the group since last week but Luis Enrique left him out of the squad to face Juventus because he was yet to be given medical clearance.
Barcelona have not given an update on his situation yet but the Turk looks on course to be at least ready to cover the absence of Neymar in the squad. Nevertheless, Rafinha Alcantara and Aleix Vidal also remain on the sidelines.