Barcelona have been handed a major fitness boost this week, with midfield star Rafinha set for a return to action for the first time in eight months. 

By 90Min
December 19, 2017

Barcelona have been handed a major fitness boost this week, with midfield star Rafinha set for a return to action for the first time in eight months. 

The club confirmed on Monday that the Brazil international has received medical clearance to begin playing again after two surgeries and more than eight months on the sidelines at the Camp Nou. 

Their statement read: "The FC Barcelona player suffered an injury in the game against Granada CF on April 2nd of this year, on Matchday 29 of the 2016/17 season. He was taken off 17 minutes into the game. After an arthroscopic procedure to fix the injury to his internal meniscus, the Brazilian midfielder has been working hard in order to be able to return to action."

The injury is not the first serious one that the 24-year-old has suffered in his short career, having been sidelined for almost all of the 2015/16 season with a torn ACL suffered in a Champions League game against Roma. 

The central midfielder, who can also play on the right wing, started last season on fire in domestic competitions, scoring five goals in his first five Primera Division starts - mostly from the right. 

A return to the middle of the pitch followed as Luis Enrique continued to shuffle his pack in various competitions, before he began to feature as an auxiliary right wing-back in a handful of games before he came off injured against Granada. 

Ernesto Valverde is unlikely to throw him straight into action in El Clasico this Saturday, with a pair of Copa del Rey fixtures after the winter break likely to provide a better opportunity to test out the 24-year-old's recovery. 

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