Barcelona pair Ousmane Dembele and Sergio Aguero have returned to training as they step up their injury recoveries.
Aguero has not featured for his new club since arriving at Camp Nou in the summer following the expiration of his Manchester City contract. He strained his hamstring in a pre-season session back in August and has been forced to watch on from the sidelines ever since.
Dembele has not played this campaign either. The forward underwent knee surgery in the summer after getting injured representing France at Euro 2020. That blow was typical of his Barcelona career, which has been underwhelming ever since he made a big-money move from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.
However, both players resumed training on Monday, although many top names were absent on international duty.
Barça were preparing for their return to La Liga action against Valencia on Sunday. Although that one will come too early for Aguero and Dembele, their return will come as a major boost for under-fire head coach Ronald Koeman.
His side have endured a stuttering start to the campaign, winning just three of their opening seven La Liga games and also slipping to back-to-back 3-0 defeats in the Champions League.
One of their issues has been poor finishing with deadline-day arrival Luuk de Jong scoring just once in his opening six games. Philippe Coutinho and Memphis Depay are yet to get properly going too, while Ansu Fati is just coming back into contention after a lengthy layoff.
The summer departures of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann had already blunted Koeman’s attack before the campaign got underway, and Martin Braithwaite’s injury in September has only made things worse.
Barça will be hoping that Aguero – Man City’s all-time leading goalscorer – and Dembele can improve their fortunes in front of goal.