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BARCELONA

Dembélé recovery continues ahead of United but out of Atlético clash

El extremo francés del Barcelona, Ousmane Dembélé, durante un entrenamiento.

Paco Largo

Diario AS

The French attacker will train on Monday and on Tuesday in Manchester with his performance and feeling in that session dictating whether Valverde can use him or not.

Ernesto Valverde is counting down the day until he can count on Ousmane Dembélé. On Wednesday, it was three weeks since the French attacker was injured against Lyon in the Champions League first leg. At the time, Barcelona said he would need three to four weeks to recover.

The most optimistic forecast suggested Dembélé could make the Atlético Madrid game at the weekend but not in the starting line-up. They were eyeing a potential role on the bench with 15 or 20 minutes at the end if necessary.

Unfortunately for the league leaders, however, the recovery is not moving as quickly as they might like and he has been ruled out for the game between first and second in LaLiga.

Dembélé to train in Manchester and test his hamstring

The nature of the injury, a hamstring tear, and the way he plays with a heavy reliance on a turn of pace and explosive speed means the medical team are taking a particularly cautious approach to his recovery. He missed almost five months last season with a hamstring tear and this is another reason why they are making sure to ease him back to work.

The plan is for him to train on Monday with the team and make Valverde's squad. He will train in Manchester on Tuesday and see how he feels. If everything is okay, he will be given the all clear and the decision will then be in the manager's hands as to how he uses the 21-year-old.