BARCELONA — Gerard Pique missed training on Saturday but has been included in the Barcelona squad for Sunday’s league game against Getafe and should be fit to face Chelsea in the Champions League.
Pique played over 80 minutes in Thursday’s win against Copa del Rey semifinal win against Valencia despite picking up a knee injury at Espanyol last weekend.
The defender was clearly in pain by the time he was taken off, with TV images showing him holding his knee on the bench, and has not been able to train since then.
But with Samuel Umtiti suspended and Thomas Vermaelen sidelined with a hamstring injury, Ernesto Valverde has included him for the visit of Getafe.
However, the Barcelona coach told a news conference: “We will have to see if Pique is able to start the game or not.
“I would like all my players to be able to train the day before a game, so if he hasn’t trained then there’s obviously a reason for that.
“It’s true that he still has a problem. The other day we decided to risk him [against Valencia] because it was a decisive game. We will see if he plays, but it’s another important game.”
With Barca’s trip to Stamford Bridge just 10 days away, Valverde added: “We hope he’s fine for Chelsea and, touch wood, he doesn’t have any setbacks.”
Yerry Mina, who came off the bench against Valencia, is in line to make his full debut against Getafe regardless of Pique’s fitness, with Valverde saying the Colombia international would be ready if called upon.
If Pique is left on the bench, Valverde suggested he was considering playing left-back Lucas Digne or midfielder Sergio Busquets alongside Mina.
Further forward, Ousmane Dembele returns as Barca include both their record signings — Dembele and Philippe Coutinho — for the first time.
Dembele has been out for nearly a month with a hamstring injury after missing four months with a ruptured tendon earlier in the season.
Valverde said: “Dembele’s a player that we have high hopes for, as I have said many times since we signed him.
“We will be careful bringing him back into the team, but he’s going to add things to our game.
“With the quality he has, he can help us. He has qualities which are different to the rest [of the squad]. There have been moments when we could have done with him. We hope that now he’s back again we can begin to see those qualities.”
Coutinho, meanwhile, scored his first goal for Barca against Valencia on Thursday, but Valverde said the best was yet to come.
“I think Coutinho’s looking good,” he said. “The goals help, they give you confidence.
“He is a player that is good individually and also as part of the team, in one-on-one situations, linking play … we think he’s looking good but the best is still to come.”
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.