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Barcelona captain Carles Puyol back training after knee surgery

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Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has returned to training with the Spanish champions after missing the past six months with a knee injury.

"The team is getting its captain back and we have the centre-back we wanted," said Barca coach Gerardo Martino.

Puyol had an operation to remove a cyst from his right knee in June, the latest in a string of injuries, including two operations on the same knee, a fractured cheekbone and a dislocated elbow.

He missed Spain's triumph at Euro 2012 and was left out of their squad for the Confederations Cup in Brazil and made only 13 appearances for Barca in La Liga and four in the Champions League last season.

The imminent return of the shaggy-haired 35-year-old to competitive action will help ease pressure on the Barca defence after their failed bid to sign another central defender in the close season.

Martino prioritised signing a centre-back over the summer, but failed with a bid for Chelsea's David Luiz.

"We are at the end of Puyol's period of recuperation," coach Gerardo Martino told a news conference on Friday.

"The team is getting its captain back and we have the centre back we wanted."

Puyol initially trained on his own on Friday, before joining the rest of his team-mates for the final part of the training session.

There was more good news on the injury front for Martino on Friday when Sergio Busquets was declared fit by medical staff and included in the squad for Saturday's La Liga match at home to Sevilla.

The Spain midfielder missed the world and European champions' World Cup qualifier against Finland last Friday and Tuesday's friendly against Chile with a muscle problem.

Argentine World Player of Year Lionel Messi and Brazil forward Neymar were both in good physical condition after returning from international duty on Wednesday, Martino said.

"Messi and Neymar had very long journeys and we have to assess their fitness for the match, but physically they are fine," the Argentine added.

Spain forward Pedro is being rested and will not feature against Sevilla.

Barca have six matches in 19 days starting on Saturday, including Wednesday's opening fixture of the Champions League campaign at home to Ajax.

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Topics:
Lionel Messi
Football
Neymar
Barcelona

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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