Carles Puyol back training with Barcelona

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More good news for Barcelona (and our second straight Barça update).

Right on schedule, Carles Puyol has resumed training, and though he’s doing so apart from his Barcelona teammates, he’s on the timetable set after his May knee operation. That’s great news for a club that desperately needs him.

Let’s backtrack, because with Spain winning this summer’s European championships, some may have forgotten what happened to Puyol. Against Espanyol on May 5, the Barcelona captain started experiencing pain in his knee. Four days later, he declared himself out for Euro 2012 and set for surgery.

Thanks to Sergio Ramos (who filled in for Puyol at Euro 2012), Spain didn’t miss a beat. Barcelona, however, don’t have La Roja’s luxuries. As Chelsea and Real Madrid showed last season, Barcelona doesn’t enjoy Spain’s large margin for error. They also don’t have the luxury of a Plan B like Sergio Ramos (now that Eric Abidal is out). Javier Mascherano has performed well in central defense, but he’s a big step down from Puyol.

We could talk about set pieces, leadership, the ability to match up one-on-one against players like Cristiano Ronaldo, but thankfully for Barcelona fans, we don’t have to. Perhaps we should wait until the 34-year-old is back before drawing any conclusions, but given the lack of trepidation around Barcelona, it doesn’t look like Puyol will miss a beat.