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Victor Valdes out seven months with knee injury, Spain goalkeeper job up for grabs

Mar 31, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

Victor Valdes AP

Barcelona has confirmed that goalkeeper Victor Valdes will be sidelined for seven months after undergoing successful knee surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in the club’s 3-0 win over Celta Vigo last week.

“Victor Valdes has been operated on this Monday morning by doctors Ulrich Boenisch and Ricard Pruna in Augsburg on his torn anterior cruciate ligament,” read a Barcelona statement.

“The knee’s internal cartilage has been sewn up and the operation was concluded successfully.”

With the October return date, the 32-year-old has likely played his last match for Barcelona, having announced his intention to leave the club last summer. Since his debut in 2002, the La Masia product has made 535 appearances for the Blaugrana, winning six La Liga titles, three Champions League crowns and two Copa del Reys.

The injury also means that Valdes will miss this summer’s World Cup finals where he was expected to start in goal for holders Spain. Instead, out-of-favor Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas and Napoli netminder Pepe Reina (on loan from Liverpool) are the frontrunners to start for Vicente Del Bosque’s side. Also in consideration are Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Real Madrid starter Diego Lopez, who are expected to compete for the third goalkeeper roster spot.

For now, Del Bosque is remaining tight-lipped on who may succeed Valdes. “I don’t want to get into who might be Victor’s substitute. The first thing is to hope [Valdes] recovers well. At the moment we’ve not thought about anything else.”

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