ATLETICO MADRID right-back Kieran Trippier will miss his side’s Champions League round of 16 clash with Liverpool after being struck down by injury.
The 29-year-old has been out of action with a groin strain since featuring in the Spanish Supercopa final on January 12.
And with the pain having not subsided following tentative treatment, the England international has now had surgery on the injury.
Atletico Madrid have confirmed that the operation was successful, but the former Tottenham man faces a long journey back to full fitness.
The length of time it will take for Trippier to return to action is unknown – but the first leg with Liverpool on February 18 will definitely come too soon.
The match would have seen him take on Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano, just as he did for Spurs last June in the Champions League final.
It would have provided Trippier with the chance to lay some of the demons from that game to rest.
The full-back will instead, however, have to cheer on his team-mates from the stands.
Trippier has made 22 appearances for Atletico since his summer transfer from North London, with his new team sitting in a disappointing sixth place in LaLiga.
While he is yet to get off the mark for his new club, he has provided four assists – including one on his debut against Getafe.
He faces a battle to retain his place in the England squad, with Gareth Southgate having a number of options to choose from at right-back.
Trippier has been selected in every squad since the Nations League Finals last summer.
But with Kyle Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Reece James all playing regularly for big clubs in England, Trippier will be sweating on his place for Euro 2020.