Wed, Jan 17, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Samuel Eto'o back in training with battling Barcelona

AP , BARCELONA, SPAIN

FC Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o smiles during a press conference in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday.

PHOTO: AP

FC Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o trained for the first time on Monday since a serious knee injury in September.

Doctors originally said the Cameroon striker wouldn't return for five months after tearing and displacing the meniscus in his right knee during a 1-1 Champions League draw at Werder Bremen on Sept. 27.

"I'm not going to set a date for when I will return to play. When I do I will be 100 percent. I don't want to return any other way," Eto'o said. "I'm keen to play again but I also want to enjoy this sport for many years to come, so I am not about to risk my knee for the sake of two or three days."

Barcelona have struggled without Eto'o, 25, who was the Spanish league's top scorer last season with 26 goals.

While the European champions have secured passage to the knockout round of the Champions League, Barcelona are coming off a 3-1 loss to Espanyol on Saturday and haven't won a league game since Dec. 10.

Barca have 35 points and trail leaders Sevilla by two.

"I'm not a savior for anyone. I should just look to do my job so my coach is pleased with me," Eto'o said. "These things happen. We have just reached the halfway point of the league so there is still a long way to go. We'll see where we are at the end of the season."

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