Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is likely to be sidelined for four months after deciding to undergo an operation after the FIFA World Cup™.

Buffon was substituted during his team's 1-1 draw with Paraguay in their FIFA World Cup Group F opener due to back pain. The Juventus goalkeeper has a herniated disc but is putting off going under the knife until the end of Italy's campaign in South Africa in the hope of playing some further part in the tournament.

"I thought a lot about it," said Buffon. "But I have to think about myself before anything else. I will have an operation in Italy after the World Cup."

Reports suggest Buffon will miss up to four months, ruling the 32-year-old out until several weeks into the new Serie A season.