Barcelona and Spain defender
Carles Puyol will be out of action for around six weeks and miss
Euro 2012 after having successful surgery on his injured right
knee, doctors confirmed on Saturday.
Described by Spain coach Vicente del Bosque as "part of the
team's soul", Puyol had arthroscopic surgery on the knee to
remove a detached fragment of cartilage and would likely be
released from hospital on Sunday, doctors Ramon Cugat and Ricard
Pruna told a news conference at Barca's Nou Camp stadium.
"Common sense dictates that he can't go to the European
Championships," Cugat said.
"Why? Because he is injured and he underwent surgery today,"
"I am not the one to decide, but it is common sense that he
can't make it. What he has to do is take care and make it back
for next season."
The loss of the talismanic Puyol, who is hugely respected by
team mates and opponents alike, is a significant setback for the
world and European champions, who begin the defence of their
continental title against Italy on June 10 in Poland.
His absence will likely mean that Del Bosque deploys Real
Madrid's Sergio Ramos alongside Barca's Gerard Pique in central
defence, with Javi Martinez of Athletic Bilbao another option.
Pruna was also asked about Barca's France defender Eric
Abidal, who had a liver transplant last month and said the
player would probably be allowed to leave hospital next week.
"A bit more than a month ago he had a transplant," Pruna
"The transplant went well. Slow but well. The player is
doing well and will probably be given medical clearance next
week. So we are happy about the process."
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