Carles Puyol has started his pre-season training at Barcelona after an untimely three-month injury layoff.
Puyol, 34, badly twisted the ligaments and cartilage in his right knee in May, an injury which forced him to miss the end of Barca's season and also the Euro 2012 tournament.
Puyol has suffered various injuries since 2007 but always works hard to regain fitness and return to the team. His aim now is to be fit for the start of the Spanish league program, on August 18.
The veteran captain - who has been the fulcrum of the Barca defence since 1999 - is poised to extend his contract with the Catalan giant for another two seasons. He is the most successful, and most popular, captain in Barca's proud history.
Despite missing EURO 2012, he has refused to retire from international football. He has been capped 99 times by Spain and hopes to play a part in the qualifying matches for the 2014 World Cup.
Real Sociedad continues to hold the edge in the battle for a top-four finish in the Primera Division after a 2-1 victory at Sevilla.