Veteran Argentina midfielder Fernando Gago suffered heartache on Thursday after sustaining a cruciate ligament injury in World Cup qualifying.
Argentina's hopes of booking a ticket to Russia for next year's World Cup were dealt a blow following a goalless draw at home to Peru in Buenos Aires and their woes were compounded by a serious knee injury to Gago.
Former Real Madrid man Gago – now playing for boyhood club Boca Juniors in Argentina – ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and lateral internal ligament in his right knee at La Bombonera, Argentina confirmed post-match.
Gago, who was back in the national team for the first time since 2015, was a 60th-minute substitute but the 31-year-old only lasted six minutes as his international return was cruelly cut short in front of his club supporters.
[PARTE MÉDICO] Fernando Gago sufrió la ruptura del ligamento cruzado anterior y ligamento lateral interno de su rodilla derecha. — Selección Argentina (@Argentina) October 6, 2017
Argentina's hopes of World Cup qualification remain in the balance after they dropped out of the play-off spot, down to sixth following Chile's victory heading into next week's final matchday – a trip to Ecuador.