Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon will miss three months after undergoing back surgery.
Buffon sustained a herniated disc while on international duty with Italy at the World Cup.
The veteran keeper went under the knife in Turin on Sunday to repair the damage.
"I think between six and eight weeks will be needed for Buffon to begin rehabilitation and at least three months for him to return to playing," said Maurizio Fornari, head of neurosurgery at the Galeazzi orthopaedic institute in Milan, who led the operation.
"The surgery went very well and was needed to take the hernia in a less invasive manner in order to free the nerve that was suffering."
"I have taken a big weight off my shoulders," said Buffon to La Repubblica.
"Perhaps I should have done this before considering I had this problem from the beginning of 2008.
"But everything has gone well and this gives me peace of mind and confidence.
"Now I must not be in a hurry to get back, I need to take the necessary time to return without any risk of having a recurrence."