French striker Ousmane Dembele is close to shaking off a thigh strain and was named in Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona squad on Monday for the Champions League quarter-finals first-leg at Manchester United.
The 21-year-old World Cup winner has excelled on both flanks this season after slow bedding in process at Barcelona but has been on the sidelines since March 16 with a thigh muscle problem.
Valverde said he had chosen the still-struggling winger in his squad for Wednesday’s game because he needed all hands on deck.
Dembele, who scored in Barcelona’s 5-1 victory over Lyon in his last Champions League outing, had originally been expected to miss four weeks.
The former Dortmund and Rennes forward missed Barca’s 2-0 win at Atletico Madrid on Saturday as the club target a La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble they achieved in both 2009 and 2015.
Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen will miss the trip to England with his own thigh issue.