Barcelona midfielder Rafinha Alcantara has handed Luis Enrique an injury boost by returning to the training sessions ahead of the coming trip to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday (1 February). However, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets could miss the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals as the two Spanish internationals failed to take part of the Monday's training workout alongside the rest of their available teammates.
The Catalans suffered a new blow in their hopes to revalidate La Liga title on Sunday after being held to a controversial 1-1 draw at Real Betis. Yet, Barcelona were denied a goal which clearly crossed the line and the result leaves them four points behind Real Madrid in the La Liga table – with Los Blancos also having a game in hand to increase the gap.
Rafinha, Iniesta and Busquets missed the encounter due to different injuries but at least the first one looked in contention to return to action for the Wednesday's crucial visit to Atletico Madrid.
The Brazil international enjoyed an impressive start to the season, scoring six goals and providing four assists in 18 appearances for the first team. However, Rafinha has been unable to help his side in the past four games after picking up a hamstring injury in the preparation of the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter final at Real Sociedad on 19 January.
Barcelona are yet to provide any official update on Rafinha's recovery but he looked fully fit when when he rejoined the training sessions on Monday morning alongside the rest of his available Barcelona teammates.
Reports last week suggested that Iniesta and Busquets could also return to action against Atletico Madrid but their presence in the Copa del Rey semi-finals is now more than uncertain after neither of them took part on the session. Yet, Barcelona will only do one more training session on Tuesday before heading to Madrid to face Atletico and Luis Enrique doesn't expect to take any risk on the recovery of two crucial players for his team.
Ivan Rakitic, Denis Suarez and Arda Turan shaped the midfield against Betis and the Barcelona boss also has Andre Gomes, Javier Mascherano and versatile Sergi Roberto to play against Atletico Madrid should both Iniesta and Busquets fail to recover in time.