Neymar and Jordi Alba boosts for Barcelona ahead of Clasico
Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba looks set to be fine to feature in Saturday's La Liga Clasico at home to Real Madrid at the Camp Nou, while attacker Neymar has also returned quicker than expected to training with his teammates ahead of the weekend's huge game.
Alba, 27, reportedly felt pain in an ankle problem after he had completed the 90 minutes for Spain in Sunday's 0-0 friendly draw in Romania, but fears he could be sidelined appear to have been misplaced.
Although Brazil captain Neymar is suspended for his country's game in Paraguay on Tuesday, reports in the Madrid media had claimed he was postponing his return to Europe for social reasons, but the ex-Santos player was also present at Tuesday's training session.
The morning at Barca's training ground began with a minute's silence in honour of the late Barca player and coach Johan Cruyff, with a club statement also confirming that both Alba and Neymar had worked out with their teammates.
"Luis Enrique and his players paid homage to the figure of Johan Cruyff on Tuesday morning. The team and coaching staff held a minute of silence in memory of the Flying Dutchman on Tito Vilanova Field at the Ciutat Esportiva," the statement said.
"The team is expected to be at Camp Nou at midday to visit the Johan Cruyff Memorial. Tuesday's workout saw the return of several of the players who were away on international duty, among them Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique, Marc Bartra, Sergi Roberto, Neymar Jr, Rafinha, Claudio Bravo and Munir El Haddadi. Also taking part were Barca B players Romera and Kaptoum."
The FC Barcelona first team pays homage to Johan Cruyff with a minute of silence prior to Tuesday's training session pic.twitter.com/ffOJCnYeaL- FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 29, 2016
Barca coach Luis Enrique's preparations have also been affected by injuries which saw Spain's Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets and Croatia's Ivan Rakitic miss their countries' games this week -- while the South American contingent including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have World Cup 2018 qualifying duty on their home continent.
Messi, Suarez, Dani Alves and Javier Mascherano are not expected to be back training with their teammates until Thursday -- when the session has been moved to the afternoon to make it easier for them to take part.