MILAN (AP) — Italy midfielder Riccardo Montolivo could be out for as long as six months after undergoing surgery on his broken leg.
The AC Milan captain's left tibia was broken during a friendly with Ireland on Saturday when he was fouled by Reading fullback Alex Pearce in the ninth minute.
The team says in a statement that Montolivo underwent a successful, two-hour operation on Monday morning.
His surgeon, Herbert Schoenhuber, says this type of injury usually requires six months of recovery, though he adds Montolivo will undergo tests in 40 days to have a better idea how long he will be sidelined.
Montolivo is a key midfielder for Italy and his absence deals a blow to coach Cesare Prandelli's World Cup hopes.