• Luis Suarez could return ahead of schedule to help Barca
  • Suarez is off crutches and has passed some medicals
  • Barca must not rush Suarez back in action

Barcelona could catch a break if recent updates on Luis Suarez are reliable. It appears the 33-year-old striker is progressing well in his recovery and could return ahead of schedule. The Uruguay footballer suffered a knee injury that kept him away from the Copa Del Rey final against Valencia last season.

Suarez underwent surgery to address his knee, something he suffered in Blaugrana's 3-2 Supercopa de Espana semi-final loss to Atletico Madrid, reported. It was actually an old issue that got worse. After surgery, it was believed that Suarez would likely miss the rest of the season. However, new reports have surfaced that he is recovering well and is now off crutches.

Also, Suarez is now allegedly walking normally and has passed some medical reviews with positive results. Though good news for Barcelona, getting the official word on whether the striker can return to active duty remains up in the air.

Prior to the injury, the 33-year-old played in 23 games and scored 14 goals for his club. There is no telling if Suarez can immediately be effective upon his return. Barcelona is looking for answers as it deals with players going down on injuries. As far as Suarez is concerned, he hopes to be back by April and in time for the Champions League semi-finals.

Barcelona is currently three points behind Real Madrid. They are scheduled to visit Napoli on Feb. 25. Aside from that, they also have scheduled matches against Getafe and Eibar before returning to the Champions League.

Word of Suarez's potential return may have been timely. Barcelona just lost Ousmane Dembele for the rest of the season due to a hamstring injury. The 22-year-old already underwent surgery but is not expected to be back this season, said in another report.

Dembele's case also gives Barcelona the right to made an addition to the lineup. They are expected to be allowed to make an emergency signing outside the transfer window due to fitness problems. Per Spanish FA (RFEF) rules, teams may sign a new player from another Spanish club if they have a player ruled out for five months or more. If not Suarez, there are names being mentioned as candidates for the Catalan side. That includes William Jose and Angel Rodriguez.

Luis Suárez
Luis Suárez scored twice in Barcelona's emphatic 4-0 win over Real Madrid last November. Getty Images