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Rafinha returns to Barcelona training as Dembele continues recovery

14:58 GMT 08/12/2017
rafinha - cropped
There was more good news for Ernesto Valverde on the injury front, with the Clasico now only a little over two weeks away.

Rafinha returned to Barcelona training on Friday for the first time since suffering an injury on April 2.

The Brazilian damaged the meniscus in his right knee in last season's 4-1 La Liga win over Granada and has yet to make an appearance since undergoing surgery.

Midfielder Rafinha was involved in part of the squad session ahead of Sunday's clash with Villarreal and could hope to return to full fitness before the end of the year.

Ousmane Dembele took part as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury, while captain Andres Iniesta and Javier Mascherano were also involved.

The return to training of all four players will come as a boost to Ernesto Valverde ahead of a difficult run of fixtures this month, with Sunday's trip to Estadio de la Ceramica followed by a home game with Deportivo La Coruna and the Clasico clash with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on December 23.