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Putellas in Barca squad to face Chelsea, Bronze out after operation

Barcelona named Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas in their squad to face Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final on Thursday, marking her comeback from a serious knee injury.

The Catalans will be without English defender Lucy Bronze, who is set to miss a few weeks after taking surgery on her knee on Tuesday.

Putellas suffered a knee ligament injury in July which ruled her out of Euro 2022 with Spain and the whole campaign to date with Barcelona.

The 29-year-old returned to training in March and was named in the squad by coach Jonatan Giraldez for the first time since her injury on Wednesday.

Barcelona hold a 1-0 lead over Chelsea ahead of the semi-final second leg at Camp Nou.

Bronze went down with a knee issue in the first leg and has taken surgery to fix it, which she revealed Wednesday.

“In very good spirits after my knee op yesterday,” said Bronze on Instagram.

“It’s never easy being sidelined, but I’m as focused as ever to work hard and return to full fitness, hopefully as soon as possible.” 

Barcelona coach Giraldez said Bronze was expected to return in a few weeks, so is not at risk of missing the World Cup with England in July. 

“She’s a very important player and will be out for a few weeks,” he told a news conference.

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