Chelsea centre-half Alex will miss Brazil's forthcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers and the FIFA Confederations Cup to undergo surgery on a hernia, according to the Brazilian football federation.

Brazil coach Dunga will announce a replacement for Alex ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, against Uruguay at Montevideo on 6 June and Paraguay at Recife four days later.

After 12 rounds of matches, Paraguay top the South American standings with 23 points while Brazil are on 21, one point ahead of Chile, with Argentina in fourth on 19 and Uruguay fifth a further two points adrift.

The top four teams in the nine-team group qualify automatically for the FIFA World Cup next summer in South Africa while the fifth-placed team goes into a playoff against the fourth-placed team from the CONCACAF group.

The 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup features continental champions, hosts South Africa and world champions Italy for the tournament that runs from 14 to 28 June.