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Xavi confirms Raphinha’s return to Barcelona squad for Granada clash

For the first time in quite a while Barcelona have some good news on the injury front ahead of the La Liga clash against Granada at the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium. The biggest news is the return of Marc-André ter Stegen after a three-month absence following back surgery, but another important piece of the squad will be involved in Sunday’s game.

Xavi Hernández confirmed in a press conference on Saturday that Brazilian winger Raphinha will also receive the medical green light after missing a month with a hamstring injury suffered in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final against Osasuna.

“Raphinha will be available tomorrow. He has made a very good recovery, he is positive. We see him training and being with the same dynamics that he had before the injury and it will help us a lot.”

Raphinha’s return is especially crucial this weekend as Barça will miss João Félix and Ferran Torres through injury as well as new signing Vitor Roque who will serve a one-game suspension for his controversial red card last week.

Lamine Yamal has played a lot of minutes in recent games due to the injuries up front, and Xavi acknowledged that fact but also said the 16-year-old could play alongside Raphinha in a more attacking setup if necessary.

“Yes, they are compatible, they can both play inside [and outside]. Rafa’s recovery is very good news, it is true that Lamine has accumulated a lot of minutes, but this long week has been good for arriving fresher.”

Barça had a rare but welcome 8-day layoff between their last game against Alavés and this Sunday’s clash with Granada, which allows Xavi to start Yamal once again. But Raphinha will most likely be involved as well, and the hope is that the Brazilian can replace Lamine sometime in the second half.

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