Real Madrid Castilla coach Zinedine Zidane hopes Barcelona star Lionel Messi will not be fit in time for the Clasico on Saturday.
On Monday, Messi returned to full training for the first time since tearing a ligament in his left knee on Sept. 26.
The club have repeated that a decision about the Argentine's participation in the league game at the Bernabeu will not be made before Friday, and former Real midfielder Zidane hopes Messi will miss out.
"Everyone wants to see Messi on the pitch, all the time," Zidane told Sport Bild. "But from Real's point of view I will certainly not say that it'd be good were Messi to take the field."
In spite of Messi's injury, Barcelona have taken a three-point lead the top of La Liga ahead of Real Madrid, but Zidane believes that the Catalans need the forward just like any other team in the world would need him.
He said: "Do Barcelona need him? Sorry, we are talking about Messi here. Every team in the world would be delighted to have someone like him on board."
The 1998 World Cup winner also reserved praise for 2014 World Cup winner Toni Kroos, who joined Los Blancos from Bayern Munich after the tournament in Brazil.
"He has changed his game since he got here," Zidane said. "We knew that he's used to German football, and that the Spanish game is way different, and is also about beauty, especially here at Real. But he immediately adapted [to] this style."
With a smile, he added: "By now, it's hard to believe that he's actually German."
Zidane expressed Real's hope "that he will stay at Real for longer" and added: "We love him.
"Toni is exactly the player we did not have. He is perfect for Real."
Meanwhile, Real striker Karim Benzema is a doubt for the Clasico after not being able to complete Tuesday's training session.
Benzema has not played since Oct. 8 when he picked up a hamstring problem on international duty with France, and has since been involved in a French police investigation into a sex tape blackmail of international teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
The centre-forward had been expected to return to Madrid's squad for Saturday's huge clash with Barcelona at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but a club statement suggested he was not fully fit just a few days before the game.
"The squad went through their paces for the second time this week at Real Madrid City, in a session conducted without the players still due to feature for their countries this international break," the statement said.
"Nacho Fernandez trained with the group in a work-out that saw Rafa Benitez include Real Madrid Castilla men Jose Carlos Lazo, Alvaro Jimenez, Fran Perez, Garci and Marcos Llorente.
"Keylor Navas did work inside the club's indoor facilities, while Sergio Ramos trained individually in the morning. Training concluded with an intense match played on a small-sized pitch. Karim Benzema completed the first part of the practice with the group, before doing work indoors."
Goalkeeper Navas' participation against Barcelona is also uncertain, with the Costa Rica international still recovering from the muscle problem which saw him miss the 3-2 defeat at Sevilla before the international break.
Club captain Ramos left that Sevilla game with a shoulder problem, and missed Spain's internationals this week, but the centre-back is expected to play against Barca after taking a pain-killing injection.
Spain's secretary of state for sport Miguel Cardenal has said security for Saturday's game will be heightened after last week's terror attacks in Paris but stressed that it is set to go on as scheduled.