Catalan newspaper El Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona defender Gabriel Milito (29) could make his return to action for Barcelona on Tuesday against Xerez after spending 19 months on the sidelines recovering from a knee injury. The Argentinian defender has been building his way back to full fitness for the past few weeks, but has now been given the all-clear by the medical staff to start playing again.
Barca play Xerez in midweek as they will be away in December at the Club World Cup and Milito is set to make his first appearance after being sidelined for 580 days. On April 29, 2008 Milito damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in the second leg of the Champions League semi final against Manchester United at Old Trafford. In order to repair the injury surgeons had to take tissue from Milito’s other knee and that caused his comeback to be delayed even further.
Few expected Milito to be out for so long, but now he has returned after proving his fitness in a friendly match against Bolivian club side Bolivar at Barca’s training complex. Milito’s return will give coach Pep Guardiola more options at the back with Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Rafael Marquez and Dmytro Chygrynskiy all able to play in the centre back position.