Gareth Bale and Dani Carvajal will not be included in Real Madrid's squad to face Las Palmas as they continue to step up their recovery from injury and illness respectively, head coach Zinedine Zidane has confirmed.
Bale suffered a calf injury in September and has missed seven games for Madrid and two World Cup qualifiers for Wales during that time, including the pivotal fixture against the Republic of Ireland in which the winger's World Cup hopes went up in smoke.
After training with the first team this week, there had been hope that Bale could return against Las Palmas on Sunday with Madrid having followed up a shock 2-1 LaLiga loss to Girona with a 3-1 reverse against Tottenham in the Champions League.
But Bale, who Zidane confirmed will not go with Wales on international duty this month, and full-back Carvajal – who was ruled out indefinitely in September with a heart condition and trained this week – will not be risked.
"We're happy they're both back in the fold, we need [Mateo] Kovacic to return hopefully next week [to have a fully fit squad]," he told a pre-match news conference.
"As for Dani, things are normal now, the same for Gareth Bale. It was the second training session with the team for Gareth and Dani too, we're happy to have them both back.
"They won't be in the squad. After Dani's been out he'll need time to recover, he's going to be here, he'll work and he's going to train.
"The same goes for Gareth, he's not going to be named in the squad, he's not going to go away on international duty, he'll stay here. We want him to stay here to work with us and recover so he can be back soon."
It was put to Zidane that the timing of the international break may come at an ideal time with several players staying behind, including Cristiano Ronaldo who was not included by Portugal for matches with Saudi Arabia and United States.
And the Frenchman says the players staying in Madrid have to use the time to put in the hard yards on the training ground.
"It's been non-stop [for Ronaldo], we'll have 10-12 days, he can focus on resting and preparing for what's ahead," he added.
"I'm not too sure how many players exactly are going to stay. We have a game tomorrow, you know the players called up by their countries.
"As for international break, I can't really analyse if it's good or bad because we have to see how players are when they return from international duty.
"There are two or three clubs in each country, we lose players this time of year, we know these 10-15 days it's important for the players that stay to work.
"When we have time to train and work we make the most of it, sometimes you might have seven games in 20 days, then there's a break - now we have a break to work, we're going to work well."