Xavi targets Valencia showdown for Barcelona comeback
Xavi has been struggling with an Achilles tendon problem and was left out of Vicente del Bosque's Spain squad for their two Euro 2012 qualifying matches against Lithuania and Scotland, the first of which was played last night.
The 30-year-old midfielder also sat out Barca's 1-1 league draw with Real Mallorca last weekend, but the World Cup winner is hoping he will be available for coach Pep Guardiola for next Saturday's visit of Valencia to the Nou Camp.
When asked about his fitness, Xavi, who was aware he ran the risk of being ruled out for the season with a snapped Achilles tendon if he did not stop, told his club's website www.fcbarcelona.com: "I'm getting better, I've suffered enough and I've played with quite a lot of pain.
"The doctors knew it, I knew it, but they were important games and I wanted to be involved, but in the end the pain was unbearable.
"After the (Champions League) match with Rubin Kazan I spoke with Del Bosque and with Pep.
"I think that it was a good moment to rest. This 20-day break has been good for me and we'll see if I can overcome this tendonitis and this great pain that I have."
Asked when he hoped to return to action, the Euro 2008 player of the tournament said: "I'm always optimistic, I like to think positively and I hope to be there against Valencia.
"It depends on how I feel and the training sessions this week. The doctors and physios tell me I could be there to face Valencia but we'll see how things go."