Villa facing up to five months on sidelines

Updated: 2011-12-16 10:09


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Villa facing up to five months on sidelines

David Villa (C) of Spain's Barcelona reacts after injuring his leg between Abdulla Koni (R) and Lee Jung-soo of Qatar's Al Sadd during their Club World Cup semi-final soccer match in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, December 15, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

MADRID - Barcelona have confirmed David Villa is set to be sidelined for between "four and five months" after the Spain forward broke his shinbone in their 4-0 FIFA Club World Cup semifinal victory over Al-Sadd.

The 30-year-old was carried off on a stretcher six minutes before halftime and Barca announced soon after that he had suffered a "fracture to the tibia in his left leg", with the player taken to hospital in Yokohama, Japan, for further tests, the sport's world governing body FIFA said on its official website on Thursday.

An updated statement on the club's website subsequently read: "In the coming hours, Villa will return to Barcelona, via Frankfurt, to be operated on. He will be accompanied by doctor Ricard Pruna and Manel Estiarte. The approximate time he will be sidelined is between four and five months."

The news means Villa is likely to miss the majority of Barca's La Liga and UEFA Champions League campaigns, but could be available to world and European champion Spain for UEFA EURO 2012, which begins in June.

Barca coach Pep Guardiola said: "He will be greatly missed as a colleague and as a player. I hope everything goes well. He will be out for a long time. It's a big blow to the team. We just hope that he can play again as soon as possible."

In a message posted on his Facebook page, Villa said: "The injury is a tough blow, but I'm sure that I'm going to recover as soon as possible."

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