Real Madrid's Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain is to undergo surgery to fix a slipped disc that has already kept him out of action since late November, the club said today.
It said a new MRI showed "some improvement" and a "reduction of the inflammation." But "the persistance of pain and of the slipped disc moved experts to advise surgery as the next step. This decision has been accepted by the player, his family and the club.
"The conservative treatment has been good for the player's biomechanics. The work done till now will allow for an easier surgical procedure, better post-operational results and a shorter rehabilitation period.
"It has been agreed by all the aforementioned parties that a decision will be reached within the next 48 hours regarding the medical centre where the operation will take place and the surgeon who will perform it."
It said a decision will be made in the next 48 hours on where the operation will be carried out. Higuain, who normally started in attack for Real alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, has been unable to play since the end of November. Real revealed at the beginning of December that the 23-year-old had sustained a slipped disc that could require an operation.
Real coach Jose Mourinho said on Sunday that he will have to re-construct his team in the absence of Higuain, who was signed from River Plate in 2007. The club is currently second in Spain's premier division, two points behind arch-rivals Barcelona.