Puyol on comeback trail for Barcelona

Barcelona stalwart Carles Puyol is key to the club's fortunes. Photo: PA

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has been given the medical all-clear to resume playing after undergoing knee surgery earlier this summer.

The 34-year-old Spain defender returned to training with his team-mates last week after missing the end of the 2011/12 season, including his nation's triumphant European Championship defence, and going under the knife in May.

A statement on club website www.fcbarcelona.cat read: "The captain, who trained with the team last week, successfully recovered from his knee injury and was given the medical all-clear this morning."

The statement continued: "This morning, Carles Puyol was given the green light to play by the club's medical services. The captain underwent surgery on the 12th of May to correct an osteochondral injury in his right knee.

"The surgical arthroscopic process was performed on the captain in order to clean out the his knee joint.

"Puyol joined training last week and he completed a couple of sessions with the group. The captain was one of the eight players that underwent medical tests this morning."

Meanwhile, 20-year-old defender Marc Muniesa will undergo surgery on Tuesday after damaging knee ligaments during the club's opening pre-season friendly against Hamburg last Tuesday.

The Spain Under-21 international suffered the injury at the start of the second half of the 2-1 victory and tests the following day confirmed he snapped the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

On Monday, the club announced on their website they expect the player to be sidelined for around six months.