Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa faces a long spell on the side lines after the La Liga club said on Monday he has taken the decision to undergo surgery in his home country of Brazil to treat a chronic foot injury.
“Diego Costa will undergo surgery this week owing to discomfort he has been suffering in his left foot in the last few weeks,” said a statement from Atletico.
“After evaluating different options, it has been decided that the operation will take place in Brazil, where he will be supervised by Atletico’s medical staff.
“The player, who was operated on the fifth metatarsal on his left foot 12 years ago, has been suffering from discomfort following a knock he received some weeks ago.”
Atletico did not state how long Costa would be out for, although Spanish media reports indicated he would not be able to return until early February, in time for the city derby against Real Madrid and the last 16 of the Champions League.
Costa has struggled for form this season, his first full campaign since returning to action for Atletico last January after re-signing for the club from Chelsea.
He has only scored one goal in 11 league starts although he played through the pain to produce an impressive display in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Girona, playing a huge role in his side’s equaliser, an own goal from Girona defender Jonas Ramalho.
“This was Costa in his pure state, he is making a huge effort and he gave his life in every single play,” said Atletico coach Diego Simeone, whose side are third in La Liga, three points behind leaders Barcelona.