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Kaka faces four months on sidelines

The Real Madrid playmaker has undergone successful knee surgery and will be out of action for three to four months.

Kaka, the Real Madrid playmaker, has undergone successful knee surgery and will be out of action for three to four months. The Spanish club said yesterday that a routine medical performed on Kaka after the Brazil international returned from holiday revealed a problem with his left knee. Kaka left the team's camp in Los Angeles to undergo the operation on his meniscus at the AZ Monica Hospital in Antwerp, Belgium.

Jose Mourinho, the Real coach, said: "If we lose him for some time it's no drama, we have other players, but he's one of the best in the world." Meanwhile, Min-son Heung, Hamburg's South Korean talent, has a broken bone in his left foot and will be sidelined for at least eight weeks. Hamburg say the 18-year-old striker was hurt after scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory over Chelsea in a friendly on Wednesday.

The South Korean has a two-year contract with the Bundesliga club. It was not immediately clear if he will need surgery. A club versus country row has boiled over in Spain over Vicente del Bosque's decision to call up seven Barcelona players for the world champions' friendly against Mexico in Mexico city on Wednesday. Andoni Zubizarreta, the Barca sporting director, said the selection of Xavi, the midfielder, David Villa the striker, Victor Valdes, the goalkeeper, and four others for the match, which falls three days before the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup, was "an extraordinarily negative set of circumstances".

"It will be the first time in history that they call up players who are still on holiday," the former Spain goalkeeper was quoted as saying on Barca's website. "They [the Barca players] are important because they have become world champions, but it's obvious in what condition they will go to the national team training camp." * Agencies

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