Barcelona’s ter Stegen, Umtiti back in training

Barcelona's stadium, the Camp Nou, in October 2019 / OMAR HAWWASH/BLAUGRANAGRAM
Barcelona’s stadium, the Camp Nou, in October 2019 / OMAR HAWWASH/BLAUGRANAGRAM

Barcelona goalie Marc-André ter Stegen and defender Samuel Umtiti are back in training, with both players edging closer to their return to action.

Following Barcelona’s win over Serie A side Juventus in the UEFA Champions League group stage midweek, the Catalans have announced several injury updates Thursday.

Uruguayan defender Ronald Araujo started for the Catalans in what turned out to be a convincing 2-0 win, with Ousmane Dembélé and Lionel Messi making their way onto the scoresheet. However, at half-time, Ronald Koeman made his first change of the game, with Sergio Busquets replacing Araujo. Junior Firpo and Martin Braithwaite were also introduced, as the game went on.

Thursday afternoon, the Catalan club announced that the 21-year-old central defender had suffered a hamstring injury on his right thigh, and thus will be out for an undefined amount of time. His recovery process will determine his return to action.

Shortly after, it was announced that Marc-André ter Stegen, who has been injured since August with a knee injury, trained with the rest of the team on Thursday, and now is edging closer to his return to action.

Neto, who was bought from Valencia, with Jasper Cillessen going the other way, has been filling in for the German shot-stopper in the meantime, and has kept two clean sheets in his five league appearances.

With the Catalans having somewhat of a shortage in defense, seeing as Jean-Clair Todibo made the switch to Benfica on loan in the summer transfer window, Samuel Umtiti’s presence will give Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman another option for choosing his pairing in the heart of defense.

The 26-year-old French defender has been plagued by injuries, having now been sidelined since July. The player edged closer to his return this Thursday, as he trained with the rest of the squad for part of the training session that followed his club’s Champions League appearance midweek.

Ter Stegen recently renewed his contract with the Catalans until 2025. Samuel Umtiti’s current contract with Barcelona runs out in the summer of 2023, with no satisfactory bids having come in for him in past transfer markets.