Samuel Umtiti will be ready to play for Barcelona in Wednesday night's Copa del Rey Clasico against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, having come through his first match in three months with no setbacks.
Umtiti played the full 90 minutes against Sevilla on Saturday, nearly three months to the day since his last appearance for the club – and almost a full five months since the game before that, after being dogged by a persistent knee injury.
The France international underwent 'conservative' treatment on the issue for a number of months, with some at the club pushing for him to undergo surgery to ensure a full recovery and clear timescale.
However, AS report that Umtiti is finally back to full strength, training in full on Monday after Saturday afternoon's test in Andalusia. That news will be a major boost to manager Ernesto Valverde, who will have hard choices to make when choosing his lineups for two crucial fixtures against Real Madrid this week.
Wednesday night sees Barça go to the Bernabeu for the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi final, after the first leg at Camp Nou was drawn 1-1 – leaving Santiago Solari's men with a slight advantage on away goals.
Just three days will pass before the two sides meet again on Saturday, once again in Madrid, in the league. Defeat for Valverde's men in that match could open the door for a late-developing title race, leaving Atletico Madrid with a chance to close the gap at the top to four points, with Real a point further back.