Barca’s Aleix Vidal returns after gruesome ankle injury

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FC Barcelona’s coach Luis Enrique attends a press conference at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi, Spain, Friday, May 26, 2017. FC Barcelona will play against Alaves in the Spanish Copa del Rey soccer final on Saturday. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona right back Aleix Vidal has been cleared to play 3 1/2 months after a gruesome displacement of his right ankle.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique included Vidal in his squad on Saturday for the final of the Copa del Rey against Alaves.

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It was at Alaves on Feb. 11 when Vidal injured his leg after a sliding challenge from Theo Hernandez. He hasn’t played since.

His recovery beats the forecast by team doctors of five months.

Barcelona’s first-choice right back, Sergi Roberto, is suspended for the final.

Barcelona also cleared center backs Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano to play from short-term injuries.

Luis Enrique could start either versatile midfiedler Andre Gomes, Mascherano or Vidal at right back in the cup final.



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