Torres returns to Spain training

MADRID - Striker Fernando Torres took another step forward in his recovery from knee surgery when he trained with the rest of the Spain squad for the first time on Thursday.

The Liverpool frontman joined his team mates on the pitches at their camp just outside Madrid on their last day before flying off to Austria for the next stage in their preparations for South Africa.

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"It's great news to have Fernando training with us again, he's an important players for us," defender Gerard Pique told a news conference.

Winger Juan Mata added: "He's said he'll be fit in time for our first match, which is good news."

Torres had surgery on damaged meniscus in his right knee last month and is slightly ahead of schedule in his recovery plan.

All 23 members of the Spanish squad were at the session and were divided into groups to play some mimi-matches, with Torres and midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who is also returning from injury, wearing different coloured bibs to the rest.

Torres left the session early, with the Federation saying he would gradually up his workload over the coming days.

Spain fly to Austria on Friday morning and play the first of three warm-up friendlies against Saudi Arabia in Innsbruck on Saturday.

They are due to face South Korea and Poland before their opening Group H fixture against Switzerland in Durban on June 16.

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