Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain underwent surgery on a hernia in his back in Chicago and will be out of action for up to four months.
The 23-year-old Argentine has been sidelined since the beginning of December.
His absence leaves Real Madrid with only one true center forward, the Frenchman Karim Benzema who has struggled to shine in Higuain’s absence. However, Kaka is back in action after five months out following knee surgery and Cristiano Ronaldo has been on fire.
Real Madrid is two points behind leaders Barcelona in La Liga.