Puyol nears Barcelona comeback

The Catalans' skipper, who has endured a string of injury problems, is still some distance from reaching full match fitness, but is delighted to have returned to the training pitch
Carles Puyol has moved a step closer to making his Barcelona return after resuming training following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The experienced defender, 35, was limited to just 22 games in the 2012-13 campaign due to a string of injuries and went under the knife in June in an attempt to rid him of a persistent knee problem.

The centre-back missed his side's Asian tour as a result of the surgery, but Puyol is pleased to now have made the next step in his recovery process.

"I am very happy to train on the pitch again. Making steps forward every day," the centre-back stated on his official Twitter account.

Barcelona announced on their official website that Puyol was joined by physio Juanjo Brau at the Joan Gamper training ground on Wednesday for a workout focused on strength and resistance.

The Liga champions have been linked with a host of centre-backs over the summer, with new coach Gerardo Martino reportedly failing with bids for Chelsea defender David Luiz and Liverpool's Daniel Agger.