Argentina’s international midfielder Fernando Gago will be sidelined for at least six months after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, Albiceleste officials said.
The 31-year-old suffered the injury just two minutes after being introduced as a second-half substitute for Ever Benega in Argentina’s 0-0 draw with Peru in their World Cup qualifier here on Thursday, reports Xinhua news agency.
Team doctors confirmed the extent of Gago’s injury early on Friday and said the former Real Madrid player would likely have surgery next week.
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli saluted Gago, who was making his first international appearance since rupturing an Achilles tendon in 2015.
“It was a hammer blow for Fernando,” Sampaoli told a press conference. “It was very painful. He is a valuable player for us and was very keen to participate.”