Boca Juniors midfielder Fernando Gago faces months on the sidelines after rupturing his right Achilles tendon during his team`s Copa Libertadores final defeat to River Plate.
Gago limped off the pitch in the final minutes of Boca`s 3-1 extra-time defeat to their Argentine rivals in the second leg of the final at Madrid`s Bernabeu stadium on Sunday, a result that handed River a 5-3 win on aggregate, reports Xinhua.
He did not ride on the team bus as well, opting to travel in a private vehicle instead.
"Be strong, Fernando," Boca said in a statement on social media after scans confirmed the 32-year-old`s worst fears on Monday.
— Boca Jrs. Oficial (@BocaJrsOficial) December 10, 2018
Most footballers require three to six months to make a full recovery from a torn Achilles tendon.
Former Real Madrid playmaker Gago, who has been capped 61 times for Argentina`s national team, has been beset by a long list of injuries throughout his career, including two previous Achilles tendon tears.
The club`s next scheduled match is not until the final week of January, a Superliga Argentina duel with Newell`s Old Boys, but Boca is likely to return to action earlier in January for make-up games against San Martin and Atletico Tucuman, though no dates have been set.
Boca is in fifth place in the Superliga, with 24 points, 12 fewer than leader Racing Club.