Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta returns to training after injury

Andres Iniesta has returned to Barcelona training and could yet be given the green light to return from a knee injury against Real Madrid next weekend.

Barca captain Iniesta damaged ligaments in October's win at Valencia and was initially ruled out for six to eight weeks, but Luis Enrique confirmed recently that his recovery was ahead of schedule.

After having a knee brace removed at the beginning of the month, Iniesta has used anti-gravity machines and sandpits to accelerate his return to action and on Friday was able to train with his teammates for the first time in over a month.

Barca travel to Real Sociedad this weekend, which will come too soon for the 32-year-old, but there are hopes he will be able to play some part in the Clasico on Dec. 3 at Camp Nou.

Arda Turan, meanwhile, missed training on Fridaywith a fever but should be fine for Sunday's game at Anoeta, where the Blaugrana have not won in the league since 2007.

Out-of-favour right-back Aleix Vidal was also absent for personal reasons, while Samuel Umtiti stepped up his recovery from an injury.

The French defender, who hurt his hamstring while on international duty earlier this month, was able to do some strength and fitness work on the pitch.

He is slightly behind Iniesta, therefore, but both could hand Luis Enrique a timely fitness boost before the visit of Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid, who currently have a four-point lead over Barca at the top of the table.

Barca B players Marlon Santos, Moises Delgado, Rafa Mujica, Carles Alena and Seung-Ho Paik also took part in Friday's session with the first team.