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The Catalans' skipper is still some distance from reaching full match fitness, but he 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 center 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.

Barcelona announced on its 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.

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

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


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