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Andres Iniesta Just Might Be Healthy For El Clasico

Andres Iniesta has made an early return to training following his knee injury and looks set to feature against Real Madrid.

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta returned to training Friday and could yet play a significant role in Saturday’s El Clasico against Real Madrid. The original timeline for Iniesta’s recovery, stated as six to eight weeks, made his participation an extreme doubt.

However, Iniesta has rapidly stepped up his recovery since removing his knee brace at the beginning of the month. Iniesta was injured in Barcelona’s 3-2 victory over Valencia on October 22, and they’ve struggled in his absence. 

In the six competitive matches without their influential captain, Barcelona have managed only three wins while losing to Manchester City and drawing against Malaga and Real Sociedad.

“I am optimistic about getting them [Iniesta and Samuel Umtiti] back, when depends on how the players develop, but yes both are doing very well,” said Barcelona manager Luis Enrique. “Andres has been training for a couple of days now, that is very good news. He has done some work with us but there is still more to be done. Exactly when they come back depends on how they and the doctors see things.”

The 173rd La Liga edition of El Clasico is set for December 3 at the Estadio Camp Nou in Barcelona. Kickoff is scheduled for 10:15 AM ET and can be viewed on beIN SPORTS USA.