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Ayala faces lengthy absence

Valencia CF defender Roberto Ayala will be missing for six to eight weeks after an injury at the Olympics.

Roberto Ayala will miss the start of Valencia CF's UEFA Champions League campaign after the influential centre-back damaged his cartilage while on international duty at the Olympic Games.

Two months out
The 31-year-old will be sidelined for between six and eight weeks, effectively ruling him out of the Champions League games against RSC Anderlecht on 14 September, SV Werder Bremen on 29 September and possibly even FC Internazionale on 20 October. Valencia's defence of their Primera División title begins tonight against Villarreal CF.

Gold medal
Ayala complained of a twinge in his right knee after claiming an Olympic gold medal in Saturday's final in Athens, as Argentina beat Paraguay 1-0. An examination held in Valencia this morning revealed damage to the cartilage, which has now been remedied by keyhole surgery. Team-mate Fábio Aurélio is also sidelined after receiving surgery for a similar injury last month.