Gerard Pique could make a surprise early return from injury when Barcelona visit Sevilla on Sunday (6 November). Mundo Deportivo claims the Spain international is ready to roll the dice as the La Liga giants seek a much-needed league victory following the disappointing 3-1 Champions League defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday night.
The former Manchester United defender suffered an injury to his ankle during the 4-0 victory over Pep Guardiola's side on 19 October, being replaced by Jeremy Mathieu earlier in the first half following a tackle from David Silva. Barcelona confirmed the worst thoughts in an official statement a day later after ruling him out for around three weeks.
"Piqué has been diagnosed with sprained ligaments in his right ankle and is expected to be out for around three weeks," Barcelona said at the time.
The 29-year-old centre-back was thus scheduled to be unavailable until 10 November, meaning he would miss the following four games against Valencia, Granada, Manchester City and Sevilla.
Initial reports suggested the Barcelona centre-back would take advantage of the forthcoming international break to step up his fitness and return to action in the La Liga game with Malaga on 19 November.
But Mundo Deportivo now reports Pique is likely to force his return ahead of schedule by playing in Sunday's trip to Sevilla, after his leadership was missed during the defeat to Manchester City.
Luis Enrique has been with only two specialists for the centre-back role, in the shape of Samuel Umtiti and Javier Mascherano, for recent games, as just days after Pique got the knock in his ankle the Barcelona boss also lost Mathieu for three weeks due to another injury.
Mundo Deportivo says Pique is eager to feature against fourth-place Sevilla as the game is vital to Barcelona's hopes of retaining the La Liga title. The Catalans, who have already lost two league games this season, are second in the table, two points behind Real Madrid and only one ahead of Atletico Madrid and Sevilla themselves.
However, according to the Spanish publication, Barcelona doctors and Luis Enrique himself will have the final word, as they need to consider whether the risk is one worth taking.
Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba and Aleix Vidal also missed the defeat to Manchester City due to different injuries, with Iniesta definitely ruled out to face Sevilla.