Inter Milan veteran Javier Zanetti will be stuck on the sidelines for an expected six months after successfully undergoing surgery on his Achilles tendon.
The Argentinean defender ruptured his left Achilles during the 1-0 loss at Palermo and was quickly rushed to hospital to repair the damage.
But despite coming through the operation unscathed, Zanetti will not return to the Nerazzurri line-up until the close of the year according to his surgeon, Professor Franco Benazzo.
"The operation was a complete success," Benazzo told the club's official website inter.it. "How long will it take him to recover? He'll have his foot in a cast for the next three weeks and won't be able to walk on it, then he will start to walk in phase two of his physiotherapy.
"As ever in cases like these we're looking at six months out of action."
Despite the prognosis, Benazzo said he was confident Zanetti would return to the field undimmed by his injury, lauding Inter's staff to build the 39-year-old's physical condition before returning him to Serie A action.
"Is there a chance he might lose a bit of fitness after an operation like this? In general terms no, but locally the muscle mass will decrease slightly during the time his foot's immobile, " Benazzo continued.
"But the Inter medical staff have shown over the years that they can get players fit who have suffered from more serious injuries than a snapped Achilles."