Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has received encouraging news from the club's treatment table, as David Villa has been given the green light to return to full training.
The striker has been out of action since sustaining a fractured tibia in the Blaugrana's 4-0 victory against Al-Sadd at the Club World Cup in December, forcing him to miss the rest of the season and Euro 2012.
But after seven-and-a-half months on the sidelines, Villa is now edging closer towards a full recovery, although club doctor Ramon Cugat posed the reminder that the striker is not yet at 100 per cent.
"David Villa is no longer in the doctors' hands, but in the hands of the club's physios," he told reporters at a press conference.
Meanwhile, Cugat confirmed that Marc Muniesa will only return to action in February after undergoing surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament, while Thiago Alcantara will begin perfoming running exercises next week as he recovers from a persistent shin injury.