Barça’s captain Carles Puyol back after 220 days and Messi, Mascherano and Cuenca also declared fit
It’s good news all round today for FC Barcelona, with no fewer than four players returning from injury. Leo Messi, Javier Mascherano, Carles Puyol and Isaac Cuenca are all available for selection by Tata Martino after recovering from their respective injuries. With these four all back, Barça’s boss is now only missing Jordi Alba and Afellay through injury. The FC Barcelona captain, Carles Puyol, hasn’t played an official first team match since March 12, the night of the comeback against AC Milan (4-0). During this time, he has undergone arthroscopy for articular cleansing of his right knee and has also had a Baker’s cyst removed.
Barcelona (FCB).- It’s good news all round today for the FC Barcelona first team, with no fewer than four players returning from injury. Leo Messi, Javier Mascherano, Carles Puyol and Isaac Cuenca are all available for selection by Tata Martino after recovering from their respective injuries. In fact, Martino has picked Messi, Puyol and Mascherano for the game with Osasuna. The Argentinean striker returns from a thigh injury sustained against Almeria in late September. Mascherano is also back, in his case after a four-week absence with a hamstring injury picked up against Real Sociedad. Carles Puyol has been declared fit this Friday. His recovery has taken 220 days (seven months and one week), his last first team appearance being the dramatic comeback against AC Milan at the Camp Nou (4-0) on March 12, 2013. During this long absence, he has undergone arthroscopy for articular cleansing of his right knee as well as surgery to remove a Baker’s cyst from the same knee.
Puyol, out for 27 games
Puyol has been absent for 27 official matches – the last 15 of last season and the 12 played so far in the present campaign. On September 13, he was able to join in with training for the first time, and on the 26th he completed his first full session with the rest of the squad. Since then, the Barça captain has worked hard for 22 days to get back into peak condition for his return to duty, and on October 10 was able to play in a training match against Sant Andreu (4-1). On Friday he has finally been named back in the squad for the game with Osasuna. All that hard work has finally been rewarded. Puyol is back.
Cuenca back after four months
Carles Puyol had been out for seven months, and now striker Isaac Cuenca has also learned that his own long road to recovery is over. In June he underwent arthroscopy on the outer meniscus in his right knee and four months later is ready to play again.
With these four players all available again, the only players still missing through injury are Jordi Alba and Afellay.