Juan Román Riquelme has returned to Argentina for treatment on the achilles tendon injury which has been troubling the Villarreal CF playmaker for three months.
Specialists in Buenos Aires have planned a rehabilitation programme for the Argentinian international, who has played 16 of Villarreal's 22 league games this season but sat out Sunday's 1-1 home draw against Cádiz CF.
There is no fixed recovery date for Riquelme, 27, although Villarreal doctor Juan Albors believes the midfielder will be back for the UEFA Champions League last-16 tie against Rangers FC on 22 February and 7 March.
"Riquelme is always keen to play and will do everything he can to be ready as soon as possible," said Albors. "I'm sure he will make a quick recovery." The injury, affecting the player's left leg, will be treated by the same physiotherapist who worked with Diego Forlán in November.