Czech coach Karel Bruckner will be laid up for at least five weeks after undergoing a successful operation on his upper spine in hospital, the Czech and Moravian football federation (CMFS) announced on Friday.

"Karel Bruckner on Friday underwent a planned operation on his spinal column. The operation took place without complications," the CMFS said.

The operation was aimed at removing a bone deformation between the fifth and sixth vertebra, the CTK agency said. Bruckner, 68, " will stay in hosital for a dozen days before recovering at home for another four weeks," the federation added.

The veteran manager revealed last week that he would step down as manager after June's UEFA EURO 2008.

The Czechs will launch the finals when they play joint hosts, Switzerland, in Group A, before proceeding to play Portugal and Turkey.

Bruckner steered the Czechs to the semi-finals of the 2004 EURO and the FIFA World Cup in Germany in 2006, where they failed to get beyond the first round.