Luis Suarez has returned to Barcelona training to provide Ernesto Valverde with a welcome boost in attack, with Lionel Messi set to miss the next game with a niggling calf injury that has also forced him to miss the club’s first three league clashes.
The Uruguayan has himself been out with a calf injury he sustained in the league curtain raiser against Athletic Bilbao, a game in which the Blaugrana fell to a shock defeat in the absence of his strike partner Messi.
His injury forced him to miss out on the Barça‘s subsequent 5-2 win over Real Betis and their 2-2 draw at Osasuna, but is now looking at a potential starting berth as the Blaugrana look to close the gap on runaway leaders Atletico Madrid – who are the only side in the division with a 100% record.
As confirmed on the club’s official Twitter account, Suarez is now seemingly fit for the weekend’s clash with Valencia, and could partner summer acquisition Antoine Griezmann up front in a two-man strike force.
Valverde may have been willing to risk playing Messi for their upcoming La Liga clash at the Camp Nou, but with Suarez returning it could provide extra days for the Argentine to recover, as key Champions League clashes are around the corner.
Three days after taking on their top-flight opponents, Barça travel to Germany to take on Borussia Dortmund in the first game of their new European campaign, and the added days of rest may allow Messi to return in time for the crucial fixture. Messi has hinted himself that he could return for that game in a recent interview.
Most recently, Valverde has been forced to deploy an unusual front three of Rafinha, Griezmann and youngster Carles Perez, which failed to pay dividends as the league champions fell to a disappointing draw away at Osasuna.