Barca start pre-season with medical and fitness test

Barcelona, July 14 (IANS) Under new manager Luis Enrique, Barcelona started their pre-season training here Monday with their traditional medical and fitness tests.

Eleven members of the first team Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Jordi Masip, Martin Montoya, Marc Bartra, Adriano, Sergi Roberto, Rafinha, Gerard Deulofeu, Ibrahim Afellay, Cristian Tello and Bojan were joined by thirteen from the reserves.

The reserves were Patric, Frank Bagnack, Diawandou Diagne, Alex Grimaldo, Segi Samper, Alen Halilovic, Munir El Haddadi, Sandro, Dani Nieto, Joan Roman, Jean Marie Dongou and Adama Traore.

The venue was the Ciutat Esportiva, where the squad gathered first thing in the morning. After initial analyses, they were then staggered into different groups for biomechanical tests, electrocardiograms, echographies, effort tests and densitometry examinations.

The players that have been involved in the Brazil 2012 World Cup will be returning at different stages over the next few weeks.

Luis Enrique has scheduled double training sessions everyday (9.30 am and 6.30 pm) to avoid the scorching midday heat in the Catalan capital at the moment. On Saturday, Huelva will be the stage for the first pre-season friendly for Barça.

Spaniards Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Pedro, Croatian Ivan Rakitic and Cameroonian Alex Song will join the team July 24, while Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo will join June 28.

Argentines Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano date of return is not decided yet, while Neymar will join the squad Aug 5.