The Spanish midfield star, named the world's best player for the past two years, was injured last July, just ahead of the European Championships in England.

The match quarterback will probably take a while longer, but just being back in collective training is a big step in the right direction.

"I am happy to be able to move on to the next phase of my rehabilitation. I'm happy to be back in training with the team," Alexia Putellas told Reuters on Monday.

Whether she can play in this summer's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, however, doesn't just hinge on healing.

Conflict in the national team

Since last autumn, there has been an infected conflict between the country's football association (RFEF) and 15 players, who would usually have been either given or highly topical in a Spanish national team squad.

The players explained that they boycott the national team unless things change, which led to all of them being poked to the subsequent national team gathering where they would face Sweden, among other things.

Due to his injury, Putellas has not had to take an active stand, but basically all the stars from Barcelona have participated in the boycott.

Recently, however, Spanish media reports have pointed to the parties moving closer together. This week, head coach Jorge Vidal will present the squad for the April games against Norway and China – the penultimate gathering before the World Cup – and according to AS, among others, there is a good chance that several of the striking players are now again eligible.

CLIP: Three exciting players ahead of the World Cup (February 17, 2023)

Javascript is turned off

Javascript must be turned on to play video

Learn more about browser support

See Hanna Marklund's list of three exciting players for the World Cup. Photo: SVT/Bildbyrån