Midfielder Rafinha returns to Barcelona squad for El Clasico

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Barcelona, April 2 (IANS) Barcelona midfielder Rafinha Alcantara has returned to his football club for Saturday’s La Liga El Clasico against Real Madrid in Camp Nou, after being out for six months due to injury.

Rafinha was injured on September 16 against Roma in the European Champions League group stage and underwent surgery, reports Efe.

The Brazilian player got medical permission two weeks ago and appeared with his national team against South Africa for 30 minutes.

Mathieu, Sandro and Adriano are sidelined due to injury while Aleix Vidal, Douglas and Masip were not selected, according to Barcelona’s official website.

The 18-player list announced by head coach Luis Enrique included: Ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo, Gerard Pique, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Dani Alves, Arda Turan, Andres Iniesta, Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, Rafinha Alcantara, Javier Mascherano, Marc Bartra, Munir El Haddadi, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto and Thomas Vermaelen.

Barcelona lead La Liga standings with 76 points, nine points ahead of runner-up Atletico Madrid and 10 points before third-placed Real Madrid.

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