PFC CSKA Moskva's Croatia striker Ivica Olic will be out for at least six months after suffering a serious knee injury while on international duty.
Olic will miss next week's UEFA Super Cup match as well as the start of CSKA's defence of the UEFA Cup and the remainder of Croatia's FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, having torn ligaments in his left knee during Wednesday's 1-1 friendly draw against Brazil.
Olic first noticed the injury after striking a 32nd-minute shot against a post - Niko Kranjcar scored from the rebound - feeling a sharp pain in his knee. However, he continued to play until the 51st minute when he went down in agony.
After medical tests on Thursday, it was decided the 25-year-old needs surgery. "Olic will go back to Moscow where club doctors will choose when and where he will have the operation," said Croatia team doctor Boris Nemec. "He will certainly be unable to play for at least six months."
The forward now faces a long period of recuperation. "I was hoping it would be nothing but the medical staff said I will be out for about six months," he said. "It will be the longest six months of my career."
Croatia coach Zlatko Kranjcar will feel Olic's absence as his side try to maintain pole position in Group 8 in their remaining games against Iceland, Malta, Sweden and Hungary. "I am sad we have lost Olic," he said. "I only hope he will recover as soon as possible."