Andres Iniesta’s injury comeback cannot arrive soon enough for Barcelona who head into the first ‘El Clasico’ of the season on Saturday trailing La Liga leaders Real Madrid by six points.
The 32-year-old midfielder damaged knee ligaments in a 2-1 win at Valencia on Oct. 22 and returned to training on Friday.
Spain international Iniesta did not feature in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Real Sociedad but is expected to play this weekend against Real Madrid who are unbeaten in 31 games in all competitions.
“I’m hopeful of having him available,” Barca coach Luis Enrique told reporters.
Barca have dropped four points in their last two La Liga games, drawing 0-0 at home to Malaga before being held by Sociedad.
Luis Enrique said Sunday’s result was the worst performance by the team during his reign.
Iniesta has appeared in the most ‘El Clasico’ matches of any current player, 33 in all competitions.
Barca forward Lionel Messi and Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos have played in 32 apiece.