AC Milan captain Riccardo Montolivo will undergo surgery on his broken left leg on Monday, the Italian Serie A club have confirmed. Montolivo fractured his shinbone during Saturday's goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland in London.
The 29-year-old midfielder was just two weeks away from playing in his second FIFA World Cup™ with Italy.
A statement from Milan read: "Riccardo Montolivo will undergo surgery at La Madonnina Clinic in Milan today. Montolivo is in a combative mood. Today he will have the operation and then, without giving up on anything, he will work to return to play."
Montolivo, who is set to be out of action for at least two months, has received plenty of messages of support.
"For a player, there is nothing worse than an injury, especially prior to the start of a big competition that you have waited to play for several years," Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi said on the Italian Football Federation's official website. "To have lost him in this manner is terrible. Riccardo is one of the old guards, he has always been a part of the national team and is always correct.
"We hope to play a great World Cup without him but for him. It is a difficult absence to compensate for. It's sad because a World Cup happens every four years."