Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has been given a double injury boost ahead of the weekend trip to Athletic Bilbao, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Javier Mascherano returning to training on Wednesday (24 August). However, Andres Iniesta and Jeremy Mathieu remained sidelined while Rafinha Alcantara also missed the workout due to a cold.
The German goalie is yet to feature in an official game this season after spraining a ligament in his left knee during preparation for the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla. He missed both legs of the duel with the Europa League winners as well as the 6-2 victory over Real Betis in the league opener.
Mascherano, Iniesta and Mathieu also missed the Betis clash after suffering various injuries during the Spanish Super Cup double-header.
Barcelona are yet to give any official update regarding recoveries, but it looks as though Ter Stegen and Mascherano are in line for an imminent return, with both players appearing in a video released by the club depicting Wednesday's training session. The workout was the first of the week for Luis Enrique's team following a two-day break.
The return of Ter Stegen would be a major boost for Luis Enrique as Claudio Bravo, who has served as #1 during his absence, is set to complete a move to Manchester City in the coming hours.
Andre Gomes, who missed the game against Betis due to a ban, was also in the workout and could make his La Liga debut with Barcelona against Athletic on Sunday.
Luis Enrique, however, had less pleasant news regarding Rafinha after the player returned from the Rio Olympics with a cold. The Brazilian is yet to play a game this season and the club failed to address whether he will be back in time for the trip to San Mames.
"This was also the first day back at the club for Rafinha Alcántara, a happy man indeed after helping his country to the gold medal at the Rio Olympics. But the Brazilian has picked up a cold, so he was unable to train today," the club confirmed through their official website. "He's been examined by the club doctors, who will check on his progress once again on Thursday."
Neymar, meanwhile, was also absent after Luis Enrique decided to give him an extended break following his participation in the Rio Olympics.