Barcelona have a handful of injury concerns ahead of their return to La Liga action this weekend. The Catalan giants are coming on the back of a stunning 2-0 victory against Juventus but will look to make amends domestically, having lost to Real Madrid at the Camp Nou in their previous league encounter.
Ronald Koeman's side have blown hot and cold in recent weeks and have a lot of improving to do if they are to realize their goals for the 2020-21 season. And Barcelona have been greeted with good news on the injury front ahead of the La Liga fixture against Alaves.
Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen returns to training
German international Marc-Andre ter Stegen has returned to training after missing the last few weeks of action. Brazilian shot-stopper Neto deputized well in his absence for Barcelona, but Ter Stegen's return is a massive boost for the Catalans.
Koeman confirmed that while the German has returned to team training, he will face a late fitness test before the game.
"He has been training with the group since yesterday, he is fine but he still has a bit to play. I hope he is fit to play but it is not good to set a date. He needs a couple more training sessions to be physically well without problems to be able to play."
Barcelona face Alaves on Saturday and it remains to be seen if Ter Stegen is named in the starting XI.
Samuel Umtiti training individually ahead of return to the team
Ronald Koeman provided an interesting update on Samuel Umtiti, who has reportedly returned to light training after another lengthy injury layoff.
"At the beginning he was not in a position to participate. Today he has done part of the training and needs entire training sessions and several days. I am happy because he is more or less with the group but needs more training."
Umtiti's Barcelona career has not gone as planned, but the Frenchman will look to recover from his latest setback swiftly and become a key player the club.
Koeman confirms Ronald Araujo's injury absence
Ronald Araujo started the crunch UEFA Champions League encounter against Juventus, but the young defender was withdrawn prematurely with a suspected hamstring injury. Sergio Busquets replaced him at half-time and the Catalans went on to secure a 2-0 victory.
Koeman acknowledged Araujo's talent but confirmed that he has picked up an injury.
"He has a long future ahead. He has very important defensive qualities, despite his height, he is quite fast, he is strong, he has a good head, in terms of defense he has shown it in the games he has played and in the minutes he has had."
"We know that he is a young player who has a lot of future and that he has to improve in different aspects, such as building his position from behind and his first touch of the ball."
"I am very happy, a pity that he cannot be here due to an injury and I hope he is with us again very soon."
Barcelona have not put a timeframe on his injury, but it looks likely that he will only return to the team after the international break.
Published 30 Oct 2020, 20:49 IST