Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has ruled winger Ousmane Dembélé out of next weekend's LaLiga clash with arch rivals Real Madrid, telling reporters that he doesn't expect the Frenchman to return to action before the New Year.
Club-record signing Dembéle, who joined from Borussia Dortmund for an initial 105 million euros in the summer, is now back in training after recovering from a ruptured thigh tendon suffered in September.
Valverde: Barcelona won't risk bringing Dembélé back before January
However, Valverde told a press conference on Saturday that he won't be rushed back: "Anything before January would be premature, and would be taking a risk.
"This week he's started to do some work with the group, but he hasn't completed all the sessions. Over the coming week we'll steadily increase his workload and stick to our plan for him."
Blaugrana face Real Madrid at Bernabéu next weekend
Leaders Barcelona host Deportivo La Coruña in LaLiga on Sunday before travelling to the Santiago Bernabéu for El Clásico on 23 December.