Barcelona's Luis Suarez, Arthur back in training; Malcom out for 2 weeks

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Barcelona duo Luis Suarez and Arthur Melo returned to training on Thursday ahead of this weekend's derby against Espanyol but forward Malcom has been ruled out for 15 days.

Malcom scored his second goal for the club in Wednesday's Copa del Rey win against third division Cultural Leonesa but was unable to finish the game after spraining his ankle in the second half.

Tests at the club's training ground on Thursday confirmed the Brazil international, a €41 million summer signing from Bordeaux, will be out for around two weeks.

Barca close the calendar year against Celta Vigo at the Camp Nou on Dec. 22, so it is unlikely Malcom will play again until January.

However there are finally signs that Barca's injury problems arelightening elsewhere.

Striker Suarez was back in training ahead of schedule after being ruled out for two weeks with a knee injury at the end of November, while Arthur has also recovered from a thigh problem.

Neither have played since the 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid on Nov. 24 but coach Ernesto Valverde is optimistic they will both be available for Saturday's game away at local rivals Espanyol.

Arturo Vidal, who missed the Cultural game with flu, Thomas Vermaelen and Sergi Samper are also back in contention for the derby.

Sergi Roberto remains sidelined with a hamstring issue while Rafinha will not play again this season after undergoing surgery on an ACL tear earlier this week.

Barca lead Sevilla by one point at the top of the table going into this weekend's fixtures, while Espanyol are seventh, seven points off the pace after losing their last three league outings.