Injury-prone Barcelona star eyeing a return to action against RCD Mallorca
A report from Mundo Deportivo has offered an update on the fitness of some of the Barcelona players heading into the game against RCD Mallorca at the start of the month.
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the potential return of Ansu Fati following his completed recovery from a hamstring issue. The youngster could be in contention to feature this weekend.
But another player who is hoping to make the matchday squad is Samuel Umtiti. The Barcelona defender has been out since January due to a toe injury that even blocked his departure from Camp Nou at the start of the year.
The report indicates Umtiti is working hard to receive the green light from the Barcelona doctors. He wants to be able to at least make a substitute appearance against Mallorca, which could be his first game of this calendar year.
In fact, the Frenchman has featured in a total of just one league game throughout the season so far. He was completely overlooked by the previous manager Ronald Koeman, while his injury troubles have kept him on the sidelines since the turn of the year.
But as we approach the final phase of the campaign, he is hoping to return to action and help his team in some capacity, in their quest to finish inside the top four.
With Gerard Pique struggling with injury, Umtiti could be a curious option for Xavi this weekend, provided he returns to full fitness in time.
However, the former Olympique Lyon star is currently behind Eric Garcia, Ronald Araujo and Clement Lenglet in the pecking order, so it is difficult to imagine him receiving a starting berth against Mallorca.
His return, nevertheless, could come as a boost for Xavi, who might use him in a sporadic manner during this final phase of the campaign before eventually offloading him in the upcoming summer transfer window.