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Van Nistelrooy faces long lay-off

Ruud van Nistelrooy
Van Nistelrooy's goals have helped Real claim back-to-back league titles

Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy will miss the rest of the Spanish season after undergoing surgery to repair his injured right knee.

The 32-year-old Dutchman saw Dr Richard Steadman in America after undergoing an exploratory operation that found a partially torn cartilage.

Van Nistelrooy will undergo surgery and is set to miss six to nine months.

The former Manchester United star damaged the knee during a 2-1 Champions League defeat at Juventus in October.

He missed Real's La Liga games against Almeria and Athletic Bilbao before returning for the 2-0 home defeat by the Italian side.

But a scan appeared to show he had aggravated an injury that threatened to end his career in 2000.

Van Nistelrooy, then a PSV Eindhoven player, was successfully operated upon by Steadman after sustaining ligament damage during a training session.

Following his arrival at Real from United in 2006, Van Nistelrooy has scored 45 league goals including four this season.

He top-scored in the 2006-07 season with 25 goals in 37 games and is the second top-scorer in the Champions League with 60 goals.

Real, the reigning Spanish champions, are currently fourth in La Liga but crashed out of the Spanish Cup on Tuesday, losing to third division side Real Union on away goals after drawing 6-6 over the two legs.

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see also
Van Nistelrooy quits Dutch set-up
04 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Ruud revisits spat with Ferguson
17 Feb 07 |  Man Utd
Van Nistelrooy nets Real winner
14 Jan 07 |  Europe
Ruud blames Ferguson after exit
28 Jul 06 |  Man Utd
Van Nistelrooy seals Madrid move
28 Jul 06 |  Man Utd

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