Barcelona striker David Villa is recovering well from a broken leg but the club will not rush him back into action before he is ready, captain Carles Puyol said.
Villa, Spain's all-time leading scorer who joined Barca from Valencia two years ago, broke his left leg competing in the Club World Cup in December and has not played since.
The 30-year-old missed Spain's triumphant Euro 2012 campaign and has yet to be declared fully fit despite taking part in pre-season training with his club team mates.
"He seems in good shape, full of desire, hope and intensity," Puyol, who has himself just returned to training after knee surgery, said.
"What happens is that with such a long-term injury the most important thing is not to rush," he added.
Puyol, who was 34 in April, was also asked about his Barca future given that his contract expires at the end of this season.
The defender said he had held talks with sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta about an extension.
"I spoke to him the other day and the issue won't be very complicated," Puyol said.
"I am excited about continuing my playing career and if the club wants me I'll stay here."
Barca play friendlies against Paris St Germain, Manchester United and Dinamo Bucharest before hosting Real Sociedad in their opening La Liga match on the weekend of August 18-19.