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Lituania Lituania LIT

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Nueva Zelanda Nueva Zelanda NZE

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Final ATP World Tour
stefanos_tsitsipas Stefanos Tsitsipas Stefanos Tsitsipas
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stefanos_tsitsipas Stefanos Tsitsipas Stefanos Tsitsipas
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BARCELONA

Rafinha almost ready to come back for Barcelona

The Brazilian has been out since he torn his anterior cruciate ligament against Roma in September. Hard work and patience see him on the point of returning to Luis Enrique's side.

Rafinha almost ready to come back for Barcelona

Rafinha never felt alone, though there were times when he preferred his own company. Just when he was playing his best for Barcelona a brutal challenge from Belgian Nainggolan (16 September against Roma) changed it all. His knee snapped, a terrible incident, but one that left him with just one desire: to be back playing as soon as possible.

“In spite of the fact he’s always smiling and he never lost hope, few know how much he’s struggled and how hard he’s worked. Every day he put in more effort, and the reward is starting to be pretty close” says a source close to the player. Barcelona have done everything to get him fit in line with his recovery programme. Obviously. This type of injury is extremely serious and the career of a young player like him could be over if the injury doesn’t evolve as hoped. He’s been running on sand to strengthen the joint, long-distance running to strengthen the muscles and two weeks ago laced up football boots. “That was really a big day”, says the source. He spent Christmas in Brazil, but never stopped working. In fact, he took one of the Barça physics with him. He’s a key player for Luis Enrique and the coach is waiting to include him in his plans.

For Rafinha, who expects to be back with his team-mates in a few short weeks, there's an even bigger challenge. He knows he has to be patient to avoid any set-backs, but he’s dreaming of playing with Brazil in the Olympics in Rio. He’s suffered like few others in the Camp Nou stands all this time. Just being back in the team will be like a trophy for him. He deserves it. Bad luck had its way with him in Rome. But the end is near.