The 34-year-old’s worst fears have been confirmed and he is due to undergo an operation next Saturday and is expected to be out for an estimated six weeks, missing the tournament to be held in Poland and Ukraine.
It means the Spanish international will also miss the final league game of the season at Real Betis as well as the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on May 25, to be played at Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium. Barca confirmed the news in an official club statement:
“The player finished the game with Espanyol in some discomfort in his right knee,” it read. “After tests to diagnose the problem it was decided to submit the player to an arthroscopy next Saturday, May 12. The surgery will be performed by Doctor Ramon Cugat and the time the player will be out is approximately six weeks.”
Puyol’s absence will be a massive blow to Spain national team boss Vicente del Bosque, who had the central defensive positions covered with Puyol, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos, with the Barca man’s versatility allowing La Roja to play a 3-4-3 formation as and when required.
It could also signal the end of Puyol’s international career as it was understood he planned to retire at the end of Euro 2012.