Gerard Pique now looks set to miss out on a place for Barcelona in the Clasico on Sunday night against Real Madrid.
The defender was racing this week to prove his fitness ahead of the crunch tie at Camp Nou, as he bid to recover from a sprained foot suffered against Spartak Moscow in mid-September.
Despite taking part in full double training sessions in the closing stages of last week and participating with his teammates in Saturday evening’s workout, the No 3 looks set not to be risked.
Reports indicate that the defender’s absence from Sunday’s noon training – he was working in the gym instead – is a certain sign that Coach Tito Vilanova does not want to risk the player’s fitness for the match tonight.
As a result, it is believed that Alex Song will partner Javier Mascherano in defence against Los Blancos.