Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has said he has not set a date for his return to action as he recovers from a broken bone in his foot.
The 31-year-old hasn't featured at all for Madrid or Spain this season as he suffered his latest injury just after returning to training following surgery on a groin problem in June.
There had been rumours that Alonso could be back in time for his side's clash with Barcelona on October 26.
However, the former Liverpool man dismissed those suggestions and insisted he doesn't know when he will return to competitive action due to a lack of match practice.
"I hope to be able to return soon. It has been a difficult summer," he said at a sponsor's event on Tuesday.
"I had taken the decision not to go to the Confederations Cup and have an operation. I think it was the logical thing and the best thing for the team and myself because I wasn't going to be right and in this competition you need to be 100 percent.
"Then I was close to returning when I broke my foot in training.
"I am closer, but I need to respect the feelings that I have and not set myself targets.
"Moreover, when the season is ongoing it is difficult because I haven't played at all."
"Hopefully, I will return soon, but I don't have a date."
Madrid have had a difficult start to the campaign without their usual midfield anchor as they trail Barcelona and Atletico Madrid by five points in La Liga.
However, Alonso believes it will just take some time for the team to settle down after a close season full of changes.
"Good players have arrived and young ones too with a promising future.
"The base of the team has been consolidated and the style has to be flexible, we will adapt to the circumstances of the game because that is what modern football demands.
"We need to improve little by little because there are things to polish up on."
However, Madrid's biggest signing of the summer, Gareth Bale, has barely played due to a number of niggling injuries.
The Welshman is expected to feature against Malaga this weekend after staying in the Spanish capital over the international break to undergo a mini pre-season with the club's fitness team.
And Alonso has no doubt he will produce the form that made him the Premier League Player of the Year last season once he returns to action.
"His progression has been meteoric in two years, he has moved further up the pitch and I am sure he will show the level he had in the Premier League here in a matter of games."