Surgeon: 'El Clasico return a possibility for Ousmane Dembele'

Surgeon Sakari Orava reveals that Ousmane Dembele's recovery "is going quicker than expected" and he could still make a return to action at some stage next month.

The surgeon who operated on Ousmane Dembele has confirmed reports that the Barcelona forward is in contention to make his comeback from injury in time for December's hotly-anticipated El Clasico showdown with Real Madrid.

Club-record signing Dembele was struck down by injury just 30 minutes into his first La Liga start for Barca, initially seeing him ruled out until the second half of the season.

Speculation in the Spanish press earlier this week suggested that Dembele is ahead of schedule on the comeback trail, however, with a return before December 22 - the first Clasico league clash of the season - a possibility.

Asked to provide an update on the Frenchman's recovery process, surgeon Sakari Orava told Cadena SER: "It is going quicker than expected. He has already said he wants to come back before the planned date.

"But we don't know if that will be possible. Maybe, [he could face Madrid,] maybe, but I can't assure you of anything. Right now, he is training in the sandpits that Barca have and I think that, by the middle of November, he'll be able to touch a ball again.

"If he did too much now there would be a risk of a relapse but, if he takes things calmly, everything will be okay."

Dembele featured three times for Barcelona in all before damaging his hamstring in the 2-1 win against Getafe on September 16.

General view of stadium before the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013
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1Barcelona1916305294351
2Atletico MadridAtletico1912612882042
3Valencia19124340192140
4Real Madrid1895432171532
5Villarreal199462621531
6Sevilla199282328-529
7Real Betis198383336-327
8EibarEibar198382431-727
9Getafe197572318526
10GironaGirona197572828026
11Celta Vigo197483327625
12Athletic Bilbao196762019125
13Leganes187381517-224
14Espanyol196671521-624
15Real Sociedad196583334-123
16Levante193971526-1118
17AlavesAlaves1960131427-1318
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo1944112137-1616
19Malaga1932141333-2011
20Las PalmasLas Palmas1932141446-3211
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