Guardiola doubtful for Valencia trip

MADRID - Midfielder Xavi has returned to the Barcelona squad after injury but coach Pep Guardiola could miss their trip to Valencia due to a back problem, the Spanish league leaders said on Tuesday.

Xavi has recovered from a calf strain that kept him out of last weekend's win at Real Mallorca and was named in the 18-man squad for Wednesday's game along with Dani Alves, who is back from suspension.

Defender Carles Puyol and goalkeeper Victor Valdes missed out again due to injury.

Guardiola was unable to take charge of Barca's final training session in the morning after a back problem that has been troubling him for the last two weeks suddenly flared up.

A decision on whether he travels with the team will be taken before they head south on Wednesday morning.

Valencia's Mestalla stadium is the only ground Guardiola has yet to savour a league victory at, having drawn 2-2 and 0-0 on his two visits as Barca coach.