Huge Boost As Key Barcelona Star Set To Resume Training
Samuel Umtiti could reportedly return to action for Barcelona after the next international break in mid-November having spent the last month on the sidelines due to a knee injury.
According to Luis F. Rojo of Marca, the centre-back could start training with the Barca squad again in the next week after seeing the pain in his knee abate, while the improvement in his condition has made surgery “very unlikely.”
There were previously fears he may have to undergo surgery to resolve the issue, which could have kept him out of action until 2019, per Juan Manuel Diaz of Sport.
Since Umtiti’s last outing for Barca in their 2-1 defeat to Leganes, the Catalan giants have gone six games unbeaten in all competitions and moved to the top of La Liga after crucial wins against Sevilla and Real Madrid.
In the lead-up to the next international break they have league clashes with Rayo Vallecano and Real Betis, a Copa del Rey clash with Cultural Leonesa and a second UEFA Champions League meeting against Inter Milan.
The Blaugrana then face Atletico Madrid after the hiatus, a key La Liga game that Umtiti could be available for.
Manager Ernesto Valverde is unlikely to rush the French defender back into action given his knee problem is a recurring issue.
But the 24-year-old is arguably the club’s best defender and is a superb partner for Gerard Pique.
Summer signing Clement Lenglet has produced some fine performances of late in the centre of defence, and it may prove a bonus in the long run that he has been afforded opportunities in such vital recent matches.
But, when fit, Umtiti is an almost guaranteed starter, and the fact he is nearing a recovery is excellent news for Barca.