Legendary Sao Paulo goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni faces missing out on the entirety of his team's state championship campaign as he prepares to undergo an operation on his right shoulder.
The 39-year-old icon, who is the highest-scoring keeper in professional football history with over 100 strikes, confirmed on the club's official website that surgeons would carry out the procedure on Friday. He faces three to six months on the sidelines while he recovers.
"Although it feels considerably better than on Saturday, and I had hoped to avoid surgery, this Wednesday the pains started to cause me discomfort once more. I regret not being on the pitch with my team-mates at the start, as I believe that this group can make Sao Paulo champions again," the veteran explained.
"At the moment I don't know when I will be back in front of a packed Morumbi, but I will spare no effort to put the shirt back on as soon as possible."
Rogerio's words were confirmed by club medic Jose Sanchez, who admitted that it was too early to say how long he would be out of action in 2012.
"Despite a significant improvement in the last few days, with an increase in strengthening exercises, Rogerio showed a deterioration in the muscle, which proved the necessity of a surgical procedure that will occur at the end of the week. The period of recuperation will be defined after the operation," he asserted.
Sao Paulo have enjoyed an encouraging start to the Paulista Championship, winning both of their opening fixtures to share the lead with Paulista and Corinthians.