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Uncleared Carles Puyol with Barcelona for trip to Champions League tie

Apr 8, 2014, 8:13 AM EDT

Carles Puyol AP

It’s been a long, grueling year for Barcelona center back Carles Puyol, and the Spanish back may defy doctors’ orders in an attempt to help his team reach the UEFA Champions League semifinals, according to Inside Spanish Football.

Puyol, who turns 36 next week, will travel with Tata Martino’s team to Madrid for the second leg of Barca’s quarterfinal tie with Atletico despite having not been cleared by the club’s medical staff.

The defender hasn’t played in a match since March 2. He will take place in the pre-match training session Tuesday night before any decision is made as to whether the back can help Barca’s injured backline, which is missing Gerard Pique.

Puyol and Barca will cut ties this summer after injuries have made him all but an afterthought at Camp Nou this season, opening the door for fresh consideration of a rumored move to Major League Soccer (specifically New York City FC).

His 12 appearances this year are a career-low.

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