Barcelona striker David Villa
has been given the all-clear by medical staff after recovering
from a broken leg sustained in December, the La Liga club said
Villa, Spain's all-time leading scorer who joined Barca from
Valencia two years ago, fractured his left leg at the Club World
Cup and has not played since.
The 30-year-old missed Spain's triumphant Euro 2012 campaign
but has already returned to training with his club team-mates
for the start of La Liga on the weekend of Aug. 18-19.
Club doctor Ramon Cugat said Villa was not quite ready to
return to competitive action and still needed physiotherapy to
get back to full fitness.
"David Villa is no longer in the hands of the doctors, he is
now in the hands of the rehabilitators," Cugat said on Barca's
Captain Carles Puyol, who has himself just returned to
training after knee surgery, told an earlier news conference the
club would not rush Villa back before he is ready.
"He seems in good shape, full of desire, hope and
intensity," Puyol said.
"What happens is that with such a long-term injury the most
important thing is not to rush," he added.
Puyol, who was 34 in April, was also asked about his Barca
future given that his contract expires at the end of this
season. The defender said he had held talks with sporting
director Andoni Zubizarreta about an extension.
"I spoke to him the other day and the issue won't be very
complicated," Puyol said.
"I am excited about continuing my playing career and if the
club wants me I'll stay here."
Barca play friendlies against Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester
United and Dinamo Bucharest before hosting Real Sociedad in
their opening La Liga game.
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