Carles Puyol ready for Real Madrid clash

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Barcelona defender Carlos Puyol says he is ready to play in Saturday's El Clasico against Real Madrid, despite just returning from a long-term injury.

Puyol returned to action on Saturday after seven months out with a knee injury in Barca's 0-0 draw with Osasuna. 

However, with Gerard Pique struggling with a hamstring strain, Puyol has made himself available to make his first appearance at the Camp Nou since March.

"Just to return to training with my team-mates and be feeling good is a great joy for me so imagine what it would be like to be involved in a Clásico," Puyol told

"It is a game that everyone wants to play in, I just have to prepare myself and wait to see what the manager decides.

"During the Osasuna game I felt very good sensations. Afterwards, I had my doubts as to how the knee would react, but in the recovery sessions everything went well."

Going into the first Clasico of the season, Barcelona lead Madrid by three points, despite dropping two points at the weekend.

Puyol says his Barca side would love a victory to put a dent in their rivals title bid, however, the 35-year-old insists that title race is far from over, with 28 games still to play.

"There is a long way to go and the league will not be resolved in the Clásico, but it is a good match to gain confidence." He added.

"People speak about the game a huge amount before, after they analyse everything, but in the end it is another game of football with three points up for grabs.

"Madrid is always a team that demands the most of you. They have great players and they arrive with confidence."

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