Ousmane Dembele given green light to return to action for Barcelona

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Ousmane Dembele is set to return to action for Barcelona in Thursday’s Copa del Rey match against Celta Vigo.

Dembele, 20, has been out of action for four months but the Catalan club confirmed on Tuesday that he’s finally available for selection again.

The France forward ruptured a tendon against Getafe in September and only returned to full training in December, just days before Barca’s 3-0 win against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Along with the rest of his teammates, Dembele then took a week off over Christmas, returning to training on Dec. 30.

Following three more sessions, Barcelona’s medical staff have now deemed him fit to make his return to competitive football against Celta.

Barca travel to Vigo on Thursday for the first leg of their round-of-16 Copa del Rey tie against Juan Carlos Unzue’s side.

The second leg will take place next week at Camp Nou after Barca return to league action this weekend with a home game against Levante on Sunday.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Javier Mascherano only returned to training on Tuesday after being given an extended break to compensate for their trips to South America.

Therefore, Ernesto Valverde is unlikely to take them to Vigo this week.

Instead, the Barca coach may take the chance to give minutes to those that have not played regularly this season as well as those that are returning from long-term layoffs, such as Dembele and Rafinha.

Demeble, the club’s most expensive signing ever, made just three appearances before getting injured, while Rafinha has not played since he injured the meniscus in his knee in April.

Barca have won the Copa dep Rey in each of the last three seasons but face a difficult challenge against a Celta side who earned a point at Camp Nou last month.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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