Barcelona boss Quique Setien was handed a major boost at training on Monday as Samuel Umtiti was back working with the group after his recent injury setback.
The 26-year-old has been dogged by injuries dating back to last season as he made just 15 appearances. So far this season, he has been limited to 16 outings, and he would have been bitterly disappointed after suffering a setback last month just as the coronavirus lockdown measures began to ease and players resumed individual training.
With BBC Sport noting that the Catalan giants will play their first game back in La Liga on June 13 against Mallorca, Setien will be desperate to get as close to having a fully-fit squad at his disposal as possible.
Furthermore, with a lack of quality depth in central defence given the limited options aside from Umtiti, Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet, he’ll know how important it will be to have his key men all fit for the restart of the campaign.
According to AS, he’s been handed a big boost as Umtiti returned to training with the rest of the group after three weeks out due to the muscle injury he sustained, and while he didn’t complete the entire session, he took part in a significant portion of it to suggest that he’s on the path towards making a full recovery.
It remains to be seen if he can take the necessary steps to get the green light from the medical staff to feature against Mallorca, as it’s also noted in the report that with Lenglet suspended, Setien will likely be eager to have him available to help Barcelona get off to a winning start when fixtures resume.
Time will tell if 12 days is enough for Umtiti, but ultimately his mere presence back at training to start the week is surely a major boost in itself as Barcelona gear up to try and defend their La Liga crown and compete for the Champions League later in the summer.
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