MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 16: Gerard Pîque of Barcelona consoles Carles Puyol after he was injured during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 16, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Carles Puyol Declared Fit For Copa Del Rey Final

After straining his hamstring against Real Madrid, Barcelona captain Carles Puyol's status for the second of four El Clasicos is in doubt.

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Carles Puyol Declared Fit For Copa Del Rey Final

Despite not training on Tuesday, Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has been declared fit by the team doctors after passing a series of fitness tests today.

The club issued this brief statement on their website:

In the end, it was confirmed that the (Barca) captain will be available for (coach) Josep Guardiola.

Puyol's availability had been in doubt after the defender left Saturday's match with a strained hamstring. Puyol practiced away from the team yesterday and was able to convince the medical staff today his hamstring is healthy and ready to go for the mid-week clash.

This is the second of our meetings between the old rivals, which will culminate in the Champions League semifinal tie scheduled to begin on April 27th in Madrid and to conclude on May 3rd at the Nou Camp in Barcelona. 

Barcelona and Real Madrid drew 1-1 on Saturday in the first of their historic run of El Clasico meetings.

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Carles Puyol's Status In Doubt for Wednesday's Copa Del Rey Final

After returning from injury for the first time since January, Barcelona captain Carles Puyol's status for Wednesday's Copa del Rey final is again in doubt after the defender strained his hamstring in the 1-1 draw at Real Madrid on Saturday.

Puyol was stretchered off in the 58th minute and later diagnosed with a strained left hamstring, an injury manager Pep Guardiola contributed to his captain working very hard on the field. The injury isn't considered serious and Puyol trained separately from teammates today. A final determination likely won't be made on Puyol until tomorrow or before the second of four El Clasicos on Wednesday

"I'll definitely be there," Puyol told the club's official website today. "Playing or not, I don't know."

When asked if he might of rushed his return, Puyol rejected the notion.

"We made the decision and it was the right one," he said. "I felt very good on Saturday, with loads of enthusiasm and excitement.

If Puyol isn't unavailable Wednesday, Guardiola will once again have to mix and match defenders and defensive midfielders in the back as the Catalan side attempt to earn the first of what they hope will be a treble winning season. Fortunately for Guardiola and his team, they've been dealing with Puyol's absence for awhile and have gotten used to holding things together without their captain.

With the exception of Eric Abidal being out as he recovers from surgery and Puyol's status up in the air, Guardiola should have the rest of his squad fit and free of suspensions for Wednesday's match.

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