The Czech Republic captain Tomas Rosicky is out of Euro 2008 and will have an operation next week to fix a recurring hamstring problem, he said today, Friday.
Rosicky who has not played since January, told a news conference he faced at least two months on the sidelines following the surgery, ruling him out of Euro 2008.
"The injury needs an operation, which I will undergo on Tuesday in London," Rosicky said. "The minimum recovery time is two months. I'm going through the worst period of my footballing career."
This means that the earliest that Tomas will come back will be in the middle of July and then hopefully he will be fit for the start of next season.
Rosicky's absence is a big blow for the Czechs, who are also still sorely missing Juventus winger Pavel Nedved who retired from international football after the 2006 World Cup.
Rosicky said Czech Republic coach Karel Brueckner had plenty of alternatives to fill the key playmaker role.
He has been captain since the 2006 World Cup but said Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech or Fiorentina defender Tomas Ujfalusi were the most obvious candidates to take over the armband for the tournament.
2008 February 1st Hamstring Injury
2007 November 7th Groin Strain
2007 September 20th Hamstring Injury
2007 July 30th Hamstring Injury
2007 April 30th Hamstring Injury
2007 March 1st Groin Strain
2006 November 10th Hamstring Injury
2006 August 18th Groin Strain
2006 May 31st Thigh Muscle Strain
Rosicky blames injuries on busy English schedule