Atletico Madrid forward Adrian Lopez faces a spell on the sidelines after breaking a cheekbone in Wednesday evening’s 3-1 Champions League win over Zenit Saint-Petersburg at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.
Adrian made his first start of the season in place of the suspended Diego Costa, and put in an impressive shift alongside David Villa in attack, until a blow to the face forced him off with 12 minutes remaining.
Atletico confirmed via a statement on Wednesday night that he would need an operation.
“Adrian suffered a collapsed fracture in the right cheek bone,” the statement said. “He will remain at the FREMAP Majadahonda [hospital] and will be operated on by facial surgeon Dr. Pedro Llopis early on Thursday afternoon.”
Colchoneros coach Diego Simeone told reporters after the game that he had been happy with the former Deportivo la Coruna forward’s performance.
“Adrian is a very important player,” Simeone told AS. “He understood what the team needed, despite having little space. I am happy with his work. I hope the support the fans showed him will give him the confidence to go on from here.”
Atletico went ahead in the game through a Miranda header, before Hulk equalised for Zenit from long range. The home side pushed on to win the three points with goals from Arda Turan and substitute Leo Baptistao.