Spain defender Carles Puyol could miss Euro 2012

 

Spain defender Carlos Puyol could miss Euro 2012 after it was announced he will be out for around six weeks.

The Barcelona central defender has a knee injury that requires arthroscopic surgery.

"After tests were conducted it was decided the player would have arthroscopic surgery next Saturday, May 12," the reigning Champions League holders said in a statement on their website. "The estimated time he will be out of action is around six weeks."

Puyol experienced discomfort following Saturday's 4-0 defeat of Espanyol, and the news means he will miss the last Primera League game of the season against Real Betis and Pep Guardiola's final game in charge - the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on May 25.

If Puyol was to return to action six-weeks from today, it would mean the 34-year-old would miss all of Spain's group games. The winners of Euro 2008 play Italy on June 10, Republic of Ireland on June 14 and Croatia on June 18 - a day before Puyol is scheduled to return.

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque, who is due to announce a provisional squad on May 15, is quoted by Marca as saying: "That's football, it's an extremely significant loss for us.

"Quite apart from whether or not it disrupts my plans, he is a charismatic lad and very important (to the team) and was only a step away from making his 100th appearance."

Del Bosque, who must confirm his final party of players on May 27, added: "He has been on great form, it's a shame."

The news will be a major blow as Spain look to become the first team to win three major tournaments in a row, having won in 2008 and then the World Cup in 2010.

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