Barcelona defender Alves available against Rayo

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -Barcelona defender Dani Alves has recovered from injury to make the squad for the Spanish league match at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

The Brazil right back had been sidelined for nearly two weeks because of a pulled muscle in his left thigh.

Alves' return will give Barcelona's defense a lift as it has conceded the highest number of league goals after eight rounds in a decade. Barcelona is co-leader with Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona center back Gerard Pique remains sidelined with a sprained left foot as do long-term absentees Carles Puyol (elbow) and Eric Abidal (liver transplant).

Barcelona is also without midfielder Thiago Alcantara because of a damaged ligament.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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