The Ghanaian midfielder appeared out on the training pitch on Monday although he worked out at a lighter rhythm than the rest of the Atleti squad.

Atlético returned to the training ground on Monday after Simeone gave his players Sunday off to rest. There was some positive news for El Cholo in the first session of the week concerning two players who have been struggling with fitness problems – Thomas and João Félix

Thomas was seen out on the practice pitches although he worked apart from the rest of the squad. It was an encouraging sight however as until now, he had been focusing solely on his recovery inside the gym.

He suffered a minor muscle tear on the final day of LaLiga against Real Sociedad and has been touch and go for Atleti’s Champions League quarter final meeting with Leipzig on 13 August.

Thomas is working hard to be back in contention for that game although much will depend on his development in the squad’s next few sessions. The game is over a week away and Thomas hasn’t been totally ruled out.

For the Leipzig game, Simeone tried out Koke and Saúl in the centre with Correa out wide on the right and Carrasco over on the left.

The other piece of good news was that João Félix is back training as normal with the group. The Portuguese forward is now over his physical problems and should be available to face Leipzig, although he is unlikely to feature in the starting line-up. Diego Costa and Marcos Llorente will lead the attack in Atleti’s return to competition.

Vrsaljko meanwhile trained inside the gym. Monday’s session was geared almost exclusively around ballwork. El Cholo divided the squad in different groups for a series of mini-matches during what was an intense workout.

The Champions League quarter finals are drawing closer and Atlético have stepped up the pace so they will be ready when 13 August comes around. Credit: ATM

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