Real Sociedad de Fútbol have confirmed that goalkeeper Sander Westerveld is out for around two months after an operation today on a fractured finger was deemed "a complete success".
The Dutch international goalkeeper was hurt on Wednesday night as Real were beaten 1-0 at home by Olympique Lyonnais in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie. The 29-year-old did much to prevent the French champions from taking an even bigger lead into the second leg on 9 March but broke the little finger in his left hand during a second-half collision.
Doctors Javier Goienetxe and Iñaki Torres have fitted a splint to the finger which will be removed in four weeks' time. Westerveld will then need to protect it for a further fortnight at which point medical staff will reassess the finger.
Westerveld's injury may also affect his chances of making the Netherlands squad for the UEFA EURO 2004™ finals, although he is third-choice behind Edwin van der Sar and Ronald Waterreus. At Real, veteran goalkeeper Alberto López is likely to deputise for the former FC Twente and Liverpool FC shot-stopper, starting with Sunday's home league match against Albacete Balompié.
Real also had concerns over the fitness of Valeri Karpin, although his thigh injury is not thought serious enough to keep him out of the trip to France in ten days. There had also been a worry over Xabi Alonso after he picked up a knock to his ankle against Lyon but he has since returned to training.
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