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Julio Baptista returns for Malaga after 16 months out injured

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Brazilian forward Julio Baptista is set to back his Malaga comeback on Sunday against Zaragoza after a 16 month layoff through injury.

Baptista, 31, hasn’t played since October 2011 after suffering an injury to his right foot, which later required surgery to remove a bone fragment.

The Brazilian’s return has come at an ideal time for Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini as look to secure a top four finish in La Liga once again and prepare for their last-16 clash against FC Porto in the Uefa Champions League in two weeks time.

Pellegrini said that "Baptista is an important reinforcement for the team” and his availability will also take some of the pressure of young Spanish midfielder Isco to be the team’s main creative force.

Baptista moved to Spain with Sevilla in 2003 from São Paulo and his excellent form earned him a move to Real Madrid in 2005.

However, his time at the Bernabeu wasn’t successful and, after a year on loan at Arsenal, he moved to Italy in 2008 with AS Roma.

He spent two years in Rome but moved back to Spain and to Malaga in 2011 and quickly became an integral part of the Los Boquerones squad before his injury.

Source: Times Colonist


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