Valencia striker Simone Zaza will require knee surgery after aggravating a meniscus tear while training with Italy, the club have confirmed.
The 26-year-old has been in sparkling form for Los Che this season – netting nine La Liga goals in 10 starts – but sustained the injury whilst training with his national side earlier this month.
“Zaza’s had a partial tear in the external meniscus of his knee for a while,” Coach Marcelino told reporters.
“Sometimes it’s blocked and he can’t play. He’s okay for now, but at some point he’ll have to undergo surgery. It can’t be cured with rest.”
Zaza subsequently pulled out of the Italian squad for their playoff defeat to Sweden, meaning they will miss their first World Cup finals in six decades.
The striker was an unused substitute during Sunday’s 2-0 victory at Espanyol.