The surgeon who has operated on David Beckham has said it will be four to five months before he is able to even run again, ending all hope of a place in England's squad for the World Cup finals.
It is estimated that the player will be out of top-level football for six months.
Beckham flew to Finland on Monday for surgery after tearing his Achilles tendon at the end of the Serie A clash with Chievo on Sunday.
The former England captain arrived in Turku on a private jet on Monday, leaving the plane on crutches and heading to Mehilainen hospital.
Earlier on Monday, Dr Sakari Orava had said there was the slim hope that the midfielder could be fit in time for the World Cup.
However, following a 50-minute operation the surgeon has confirmed that Beckham suffered a complete tear of the Achilles tendon, which means his aim now will be to play some part in LA Galaxy's MLS season.
"It was a total tear,'' Professor Orava told Sky Sports News. "It's only a guess, but it's four months to running and a couple more months to kicking and jumping. He was quite happy after the operation.
"(And) I think that he understood from the beginning that it's a serious injury and he's not able to play (at the World Cup).''
Asked whether Beckham can play at the top level again, Professor Orava added: "It's difficult to say whether he has decided to come back at the same level as before, but usually people can do what they have done before, if everything goes well.''
His spokesman said in a statement: "Following a scan, David Beckham's left Achilles was found to be ruptured. Professor Sakari Orava performed a successful operation today, repairing the tendon completely.
"David is expected to make a full recovery. Professor Sakari Orava will conduct a further examination tomorrow, when a programme for rehabilitation will be finalised.
"David wants to thank everyone who has given him messages of support - it meant a lot to him.''
And there was a boost from England coach Fabio Capello, who is reported to have said he hopes to have the player back for the start of qualifying for Euro 2012 in September.
"We hope he will be fit for the next year,'' the England manager told Sky Sports News. "I hope he will be fit for the Euros, next qualifying. He's always one of the best players in England.''
LA Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena has reassured Beckham he will be welcome back at the Major League Soccer club and that he remains an important player for them.
Arena said: "Injuries are an unfortunate part of our game and they are even more disappointing when they happen to a player who was so close to realising his dream of representing his nation at this summer's World Cup.
"We will give David our complete support to make sure that he is able to get himself back to full health before he returns to the field. David remains an important player for the Galaxy and we look forward to welcoming him back to the club and assisting him in his recovery.''
AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has assured Beckham he can return to the Italian club once he has recovered.
Galliani said: "I gave him a hug in the changing rooms and I told him that if he wants, next year he will be with us.''
Galliani sang the praises of surgeon Sakari Orava, adding: "He is a genius in his field.''
Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti is another who believes it is too early to speculate over Beckham's future in the game.
"I'm so sorry for him because I know how he wanted to go to the World Cup,'' said Ancelotti. "He came last year to Milan above all to achieve this, to show his quality for the England team.
"I'm so sorry for him. I hope he does a good, quick recovery and will come back to play. It's too early to say his career is over. He had a bad injury, but I hope he comes back to play football. Until now, he's had a fantastic career and, also, he's shown great professionalism.''