Good news in respect to Philippe Coutinho for Ernesto Valverde. The Brazilian playmaker trained on Saturday with the rest of his teammates at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper ahead of Sunday's trip to Real Betis.
In the press conference before training, Valverde had revealed that the former Liverpool man was recovering well from his thigh injury.
"I am reluctant to put an exact date on when injured players will return, but the evolution from the injury has been very positive,” Valverde said.
“It was a minor thigh problem, which is a sensitive zone when you’re striking the ball, so you have to be careful with it in that regard.
”I don’t know if he will be back for the Copa [against Espanyol on Thursday] or against Alaves [on Sunday], but we hope that he will be back soon. Thursday is possible.”
Samuel Umtiti and Paco Alcacer also trained on Saturday and, like Coutinho, could return to the squad in the coming days, if not against Betis.
However, Andres Iniesta and Javier Mascherano both missed the session with knocks.
There were lots of applause to start the session: for Coutinho's first session, for Jordi Alba becoming a father and for Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto signing new deals.