WARSAW, Poland -- Greece defender Avraam Papadopoulos will miss the rest of the European Championship after damaging ligaments in his left leg in the 1-1 draw with Poland Friday, leaving the 2004 champions with major problems at center back.
Team officials said the 27-year-old Papadopoulos, who was flying back to Greece on Saturday, could be out for up to six months. The player made no comment.
Papadopoulos was helped off the pitch in the 37th minute of the tournament opener after what initially appeared to be a harmless challenge from Poland striker Robert Lewandowski in the Group A game.
He played for 15 minutes after being treated on the sidelines, but asked to be replaced.
Papadopoulos played a key role as Greece went through qualifying for Euro 2012 unbeaten, and his absence is a blow to Fernando Santos' defense-reliant team, which is at its third successive European tournament.
Santos also will be without central defender Sokrakis Papastathopoulos for Greece's second match, against the Czech Republic, after the Werder Bremen player was sent off in the first half against Poland after receiving a second yellow card.