Gerard pique
Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba may be ready to face Real Madrid.Getty

Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba have handed Barcelona manager Luis Enrique a much-needed selection boost by returning to training two days before the long-awaited visit of Real Madrid on Saturday (3 December).

The news comes just a day after a much-changed Barcelona were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Second Division B side Hercules in the first leg of the Copa del Rey round of 32.

Pique and Alba both missed that encounter as Luis Enrique rested most of first-choice players to keep them fresh for the weekend. However, the duo had also been unable to take part in the first training sessions of the week after suffering knocks during the weekend draw at Real Sociedad. The pair had both just returned from a month-long spell on the sidelines in the previous La Liga encounter with Malaga.

The centre-back confirmed after the game that he had suffered a recurrence of his ankle problems during the first half, but added that he was confident of making the first El Clasico of the season.

Asked then by the reporters about whether he would be ready to face Real Madrid on Saturday, Pique said: "I hope so. I suffered a setback on my ankle during the first half but I hope I'm ready for Saturday."

Meanwhile, on Monday, Barcelona revealed that Alba had picked up "bruising on his right knee and a distension of his left ankle" during the game, leaving his availability for El Clasico in doubt question.

"The tests carried out this morning reveal that Jordi Alba has bruising on his right knee and a distension of his left ankle. How he evolves will determine his availability for the next few games," Barcelona confirmed on Monday.

However it looks as though both Spain internationals will be ready to face Real Madrid on Saturday after they appeared in the video released by Barcelona of Thursday's workout.

The club have refused to give any update on the players' situation, but reports in Spain claim that both made it through the first part of training without any problem.

Furthermore, Andres Iniesta and Samuel Umtiti are also expected to be fit. Luis Enrique confirmed earlier in the week that the captain is back available following more than a month on the sidelines, while the Frenchman made his comeback from injury in the Copa del Rey encounter with Hercules.

Jeremy Mathieu is the only Barcelona player who has been definitely ruled out for the visit of Real Madrid, as earlier this week the club revealed that he had suffered a setback in his recovery from a calf injury.