Milito returns, Marquez signs

MADRID - Barcelona's Gabriel Milito is fit to return to the first team and fellow defender Rafael Marquez has agreed a contract extension to 2012, the European champions said on their website on Monday.

Argentina international Milito has been out since tearing ligaments in his right knee in the Champions League semi-final against Manchester United in April 2008.

He played 45 minutes in a friendly against Bolivian side Bolivar two weeks ago but medical staff have only just given him the all-clear to return to first-team action.

Marquez signed a two-year extension to his contract, keeping the buy-out clause fixed at 100 million euros.

The Mexico international is the eighth Barca player to agree a new deal this season after Yaya Toure, Victor Valdes, Pedro, Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol, Eric Abidal and Andres Iniesta.

Barcelona lead La Liga by two points from Real Madrid after beating their arch-rivals 1-0 in the 'clasico' at the Nou Camp on Sunday.