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banner Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
Morientes sidelined after operation
Fernando Morientes
Morientes (right) was played while still not fit
Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes will miss the Fifa world club championship in Spain this summer following a groin operation.

Doctors described the surgery as completely successful but the player will be out of action for up to three months.

Morientes came on as a late substitute in last week's Champions' League semi-final but only in desperation as Real tried to score a late goal in Munich.

He decided two weeks ago against an operation in a bid to help his team's run-in to the end of the season but broke down after just 29 minutes of Sunday's 2-2 draw against Espanyol.

"Our aim is making sure that he is ready to take part in pre-season training alongside the rest of his team mates," said Alfonso del Corral, chief of Real's medical staff.

"Perhaps we should have operated a little earlier but given the demands of the competition we tried to avoid it.

"We used up all the options available to us and the only course open to us was surgery."

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