BARCELONA

Barcelona: Ousmane Dembélé enters the final phase of his recovery

Ousmane Dembélé is training out in the open air but apart from the main group and still isn't working with the ball. He fell injured at the end of November.

There was good news for Barça boss Quique Setién on Monday. Ousmane Dembélé was seen exercising out on the practice pitches in Sant Joan Despí which suggests that he is now in the final part of his recovery programme and he can see light at the end of the tunnel. Dembélé has been struggling to return to full fitness since tearing his right hamstring almost two months ago. The 22-year-old winger lasted just 25 minutes of the Matchday 5 Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund at the end of November and the subsequent medical report stated he would be out for approximately 10 weeks.

Dembélé eyeing February return

Today however, while the rest of the players worked out on Pitch 2 at the Ciutat Esportiva, Dembélé could be seen completing several laps an an adjacent pitch. Dembélé is training apart from the main group and hasn't yet started ballwork but at least he is back exercising out in the open air which is an encouraging sign. Setién expects to have the French forward back in full training with the first team squad in a fortnight's time. If it all goes according to plan, Dembélé should be available for first team duties again ahead of the trip to Setién's old club, Betis on 9 February. With Luis Suárez out until mid-April, Dembélé's return will be music to Barça's ears.