Spain defender Carles Puyol expects to miss UEFA EURO 2012 after it was revealed that the FC Barcelona captain requires exploratory surgery on a troublesome injury to his right knee.
Despite completing all 90 minutes of his side's 4-0 Liga victory against RCD Espanyol at the weekend, Puyol, who is one game away from collecting a century of international caps, complained of discomfort in the joint, prompting club medics to schedule an operation for this Saturday which they hope will determine the extent of the problem.
"We have to wait for the surgery, but I think it's impossible because there isn't enough time for me to recover," said the 99-times capped Puyol. "I really wanted to go. I hate to miss two competitions like the UEFA EURO 2012 and the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club. I don't know if it would have been my last European Championship, but I want to retire on the field and not in the operating room. I would love to play a 100th game for Spain."
The Barça captain, who has helped Spain to UEFA EURO 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup success, is certain to miss the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club on 25 May and – with his club predicting a six-week lay-off ‒ the 34-year-old expects to be excluded from from Vicente del Bosque's squad for UEFA EURO 2012, which is due to be finalised two days after that game.
La Roja begin the defence of their European title against Italy in Gdansk on 10 June and complete their Group C campaign with games against the Republic of Ireland and Croatia.
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