AEK Athens FC goalkeeper Dimitris Konstantopoulos will need up to six weeks to recover from an operation on his spinal cord.
The 32-year-old Greek international had been in pain since going off injured 36 minutes into the second leg of AEK's UEFA Europa League play-off against FC Dinamo Tbilisi on 25 August.
Konstantopoulos returned for the Group L loss at RSC Anderlecht a fortnight ago but the pain did not subside and he underwent surgery on Wednesday. The former Hartlepool United FC keeper will be sidelined for at least three UEFA Europa League games, against SK Sturm Graz tonight and then the two meetings with FC Lokomotiv Moskva.
He will also be unavailable for the Greece squad to face Croatia in a crucial UEFA EURO 2012 Group F qualifier on 7 October. Konstantopoulos's sole qualifying appearance – and international debut – came in the victory over Malta on 4 June.
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