Real Madrid star Kaka is set to be out of football action for up to four months after undergoing knee surgery in Belgium.
A post-World Cup medical revealed a problem with the Brazilian’s left knee and the midfielder had to leave Real’s pre-season camp in Los Angeles.
The Spanish club said earlier that the 28-year-old midfielder had suspected meniscus damage.
“It went well – the typical recovery period is three to four months,” said an assistant to surgeon Marc Martens.
A half-hour arthroscopic operation was carried out by Martens on Thursday morning.
The second most expensive footballer in history – behind team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo – joined Real last June in a £56 million transfer from Italian team AC Milan.
But his first season in La Liga was plagued by a groin injury, which restricted him to 22 appearances as Real finished second behind champions Barcelona.
However, new manager Jose Mourinho is confident his team will not miss Kaka too badly.
Spaniards Sergio Canales and Pedro Leon, Argentine Angel di Maria and German Sami Khedira are among the new faces at the Bernabeu this season.
“If we have to lose him for a while, it won’t be a drama – we have other players,” the Portuguese said after Madrid’s 3-2 win over Mexican side America on Wednesday.
“But we want him to be at 100% so he is happy. He is a player who is much loved by his team-mates – he is one of the best players in the world.”