Barcelona are reportedly set for a major injury boost as Samuel Umtiti is closing in on making his comeback from a long-term absence.
The 25-year-old has been plagued by knee problems over the past year, as he was limited to just 15 appearances last season.
His last outing for the Catalan giants came five months ago as he spent the summer and the start of this season continuing his recovery.
Fortunately for all concerned, it appears as though the French international is on the verge of making his comeback as Mundo Deportivo report that there is a growing sense of optimism that he could be in contention to be named in the squad to face Eibar this weekend.
It’s stressed that it is highly unlikely that he will start the game, but ultimately coach Ernesto Valverde will now want to find opportunities to give Umtiti minutes to build his fitness back up and give him confidence when back out on the pitch.
He also has his work cut out for him as he’ll need to displace one of Clement Lenglet or Gerard Pique in the heart of the Barcelona backline, but given his quality and experience, it will be a huge boost in itself that he’s back in contention to feature as the reigning La Liga champions need depth to compete on multiple fronts this season.
Nevertheless, the medical staff will no doubt be cautious and avoid any unnecessary risks as the last thing that either Umtiti or Barcelona want at this stage is to see him suffer another setback and another spell on the sidelines, especially when so close to making his comeback.