Two key Barcelona stars make their return to team training

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Barcelona's German goalkeeper #01 Marc-Andre ter Stegen attends a training session at the Joan Gamper training ground in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona, on January 30, 2024. Only a few months after lifting the Spanish title, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez dramatically announced he would walk away from the club at the end of the season. After Villarreal stunned Barcelona on January 28 with a 5-3 win which left the champions third, and 10 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid, Xavi said he was stepping down in June.
Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

The current list of injured superstars at FC Barcelona is worryingly long for Xavi. La Blaugrana are faced with a great injury crisis this season, and the absence of some key players has undoubtedly cost them. For Barcelona, at least, this season has brought a lot of misfortune to them in terms of player availability.

Xavi’s side needs their star players back in time for the second phase of the season. The crucial stage of the campaign has now arrived, and only two titles remain worth competing for. Fortunately for Barcelona, it seems that the return of two very crucial players is also quite imminent.

As highlighted by SPORT, both Raphinha and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen have returned to training and completed a part of it with their teammates. Just as the starters return to do their recovery sessions, both the Brazilian winger and the German goalkeeper also got some time in.

Moreover, both Ilkay Gundogan and Joao Cancelo also trained with the team. They appeared to have suffered blows in the last game against Alaves, but fortunately, it seems that they will be able to compete against Granada.

In the case of Ter Stegen, the German veteran could be back in time to play against Granada. His absence has been felt heavily, as Barça has conceded a lot of goals with Inaki Pena in between the sticks. Moreover, his return would also mean the return of a team captain to regain his position in the starting eleven.

As for Raphinha, his return may still be some time away. The goal in mind, according to SPORT, remains the UEFA Champions League clash against Napoli in Italy. The Brazilian winger’s return, however, may not be as enlightening as that of Ter Stegen’s.

With Lamine Yamal now being among the team’s best performers, he could possibly have taken over Raphinha’s spot. Thus, the Brazilian winger will need to work hard to ensure that he does regain Xavi’s trust and faith to make it back into the team.

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