Luis Suarez returned to first-team training at Barcelona on Wednesday to give head coach Ernesto Valverde hope that he could feature against Valencia on Saturday and lessen the need to rush Lionel Messi back from injury.
Suarez is nearing full fitness again after suffering an Achilles tendon injury in Barcelona's defeat to Athletic Bilbao on the opening day of the new LaLiga season.
👍 Good news!— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 11, 2019
🏋️ Luis Suárez back with the squad for part of Wednesday training pic.twitter.com/YVgMAovBVb
After missing Barca's subsequent 5-2 win over Real Betis and their 2-2 draw at Osasuna, the Uruguay international trained with the team in the build-up to Valencia's visit to Camp Nou to provide Valverde with a welcome boost to his attacking options.
Messi, meanwhile, had been expected to make his first appearance of the season against Valencia after recovering from a calf injury but Valverde may opt not to risk the 32-year-old if Suarez is available.
The muscle strain sustained on the first day of pre-season training has kept Messi out of Valverde's matchday squads since then, but the Barcelona coach said he hoped to have him back in time to face Valencia.
However, the Spanish champions face a trip to Germany three days after the Valencia game to face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and Valverde may give Messi extra rest as he completes his recovery.