De la Pena op success
Espanyol's Ivan de la Pena has undergone successful surgery, although it will be 'difficult' for him to play again this season.
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 10/02/10 7:01pm
Espanyol midfielder Ivan de la Pena has undergone successful surgery, although it will be 'difficult' for him to play again this season.
The 33-year-old has been dogged by a knee injury for almost a year and has only appeared six times this term as he tried to play on without an operation.
But he recently went under the knife of renowned surgeon Doctor Ramon Cugat, who said the operation had gone well.
While the surgeon is hopeful that the former Barca star will play again, he is unlikely to feature again this term.
Cugat said: "The operation took about an hour and we did not discover anything that we were not expecting.
"We have cleared up the affected area. We wanted to clean up that area and to decompress it so that the affected muscles could receive more oxygen.
"What we have done means that he should be able to recover completely.
"It will be difficult for him to play again this season, but we will have to wait and see how things evolve.
"It is important to see how his muscles react after such a long time out of action."
De la Pena has previously stated that if the operation did not solve the problem then he would hang up his boots after a career that has seen him play for Barcelona, Lazio, Marseille and Espanyol, as well as five appearances for Spain.