Barca captain Puyol fit to return after elbow injury

MADRID Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:12am IST

Barcelona's Carles Puyol heads the ball during a training session at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Barcelona's Carles Puyol heads the ball during a training session at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, October 22, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Albert Gea

MADRID (Reuters) - Barcelona captain Carles Puyol was passed fit to return to action on Friday, 45 days after dislocating his left elbow, the La Liga leaders said in a statement.

"Everyone knows how important he is," Barca coach Tito Vilanova told a news conference.

The 34-year-old Spanish international is ready in time for the visit of Real Zaragoza on Saturday, and should help restore some stability to the Barca backline after a shaky couple of months without him and his centre-back partner Gerard Pique.

Pique returned to action only last week after seven weeks on the sidelines with a foot problem.

Barca conceded only 29 goals in 38 matches when they finished runners up to Real Madrid in La Liga last season, but have already shipped 14 in 11 games so far this term.

(Reporting by Mark Elkington, editing by Alan Baldwin)

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