Barcelona defender Carles Puyol will undergo knee surgery, the Spanish league club said on Tuesday, ruling the Spain international out of next month's European Championship.
Puyol on Saturday finished Barcelona's 4-0 victory over Espanyol with discomfort in his right knee, and subsequent medical tests led the 34-year-old to opt for arthroscopic surgery.
Barcelona said the surgery will be performed on Saturday and Puyol will need six weeks to recover, dealing Spain a major defensive setback ahead of its bid to become the first nation to defend its European title after winning the 2010 World Cup.
Puyol previously had surgery on his left knee, which sidelined him for much of last season. The Barcelona captain seemed to have recovered and was a regular in the Catalan club's lineup though out the season.
Puyol played in all matches that led Spain to win the Euro 2008 in Austria and the World Cup in South Africa two years later. He has 99 caps and has played for Spain at all major championships since the 2002 World Cup.
Spain opens Group C play on June 10 against Italy. They will also face Ireland and Croatia at the continental tournament that is co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
The Euro 2012 runs from June 8 to July 1.