Knee operation for Barcelona captain Carles Puyol

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol underwent an exploratory knee operation on Friday.

The 34-year-old Puyol has suffered knee problems for over a year and missed last summer’s European Championships, which were won by Spain.

He was not included in the Spain squad named by coach, Vicente del Bosque this Friday for the World Cup qualifying matches to be played against Finland and France slated for March 22 and 26.

Del Bosque explained that Puyol had told him he had a ‘physical problem’ and would not be able to play in the two vital matches.

The operation means that Puyol will miss his side’s Champions League quarter-final tie against Paris Saint Germain, which was drawn this Friday and it is possible that he could miss the rest of the season.

Although the loss of the FC Barcelona captain is bound to be felt by the rest of the team, it has come at a moment when Barca can possibly best withstand the loss of its captain.

Central defender, Marc Bartra was given the all-clear to play again this week after missing several weeks through injury, while Eric Abidal has been training with the first team squad for over a month now since recovering from a liver transplant operation.

Bartra and perhaps Abidal will be able to play a role in the run in to the end of the season, while time will tell what happens to the inspirational Puyol.

Barca’s first game without Puyol is this Sunday’s home match against Rayo Vallecano in the Camp Nou Stadium.

Read more :
  • Alex Ferguson may face UEFA ban
    Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson may face a touchline ban from UEFA for refusing to attend a post-match press conference after the Red Devils were knocked out of the Champions League...
  • Ardina romps to 8-shot victory with second 66
    Dottie Ardina went 2-for-2 as a professional, scoring an expected romp in the second leg of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour with a second straight six-under 66 for an eight-shot victo...
  • Under-fire Ullrich gets Armstrong’s support
    BERLIN: Jan Ullrich has received support from former rival Lance Armstrong after Germany’s only Tour de France winner admitted doping with the help of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. U...
  • Ferguson fined, Nani banned after Madrid loss
    Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was fined €10,000 ($13,000) by UEFA on Friday for failing to fulfill his post-match media duties after a Champions League match against Real Madrid. ...
  • Blissful marriage of love and tennis for China’s Li
    MELBOURNE - Silencing the voices of doubt that plague Li Na's mind has been mission impossible at times for coaches and her stoic husband Jiang Shan, but the 30-year-old Chinese appears to ...
  • John Isner wants Serena Williams partnership
    American tennis star John Isner has targeted a mixed doubles partnership with Serena Williams at the London Olympics. The 26-year old, who replaced Mardy Fish as the American number one af...
  • Abu Dhabi win proves Donaldson was right not to retire
    ABU DHABI - Jamie Donaldson refused to listen when a doctor told him to quit golf and, nine years on, vindication of his decision to carry on came when the Briton scored the best win of his...
  • Rafael Nadal plans lengthy absence
    Rafael Nadal has said that he will take a several-week absence from tennis after the Australian Open to rest and practise. The world number two will take the time off in February to recove...