Argentina forward Ezequiel Lavezzi will have surgery on Friday in New York for the broken left elbow he suffered during the 4-0 Copa America Centenario semifinal win over the United States, team doctor Donato Villani said.
Lavezzi scored the opener for Argentina, heading home from a Lionel Messi pass into the penalty area to get his team on the scoresheet in the third minute.
In the second half, however, Lavezzi fell over a sideline billboard while chasing an overhead pass and broke his fall with his left arm, then immediately grabbed it with the other hand as he writhed in pain. Trainers ran to him quickly and he was soon taken away by medical personnel.
Villani told ESPN Radio in Argentina that the team wanted to get the surgery done as soon as possible and that the 31-year-old will be attended by Dr. Robert Hotchkiss at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
- Selección Argentina (@Argentina) June 23, 2016
"The idea was that he didn't lose any time," Villani said. "Also, he wanted to be there on Sunday to watch the final [against Chile]. He will have surgery tomorrow [Friday] morning and it is not the type of surgery that will require a hospital stay."
Hola a todos! Quiero agradecerles a todos por su preocupación por mi. Fue muy lindo recibir tantos mensajes de apoyo. Como informó el cuerpo médico de la Selección, tuve una luxofractura en mi codo izquierdo y me tendré que operar los próximos días. Me pierdo la final, pero voy estar alentándolos desde afuera! Vamos Argentina!! Hello everyone! I want to thank you for your concern. It was very nice to receive so many warm messages. Like the medical team stated, I had a fracture-dislocation on my left elbow and will have surgery. I won't be able to play the final, but will be there to support my team-mates! Let's go, Argentina!
A photo posted by Ezequiel Lavezzi (@pocho22lavezzi) on
The former Paris Saint-Germain player made a high-profile move to Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune earlier in the year. He took to Instagram to reassure his fans.
Villani estimated Lavezzi's recover time at two months and added that rehab would begin within 48 to 72 hours post-surgery.
"It was an incredible play but the billboards were just too close," Villani said, adding that these types of falls are not uncommon.
Argentina practiced on Thursday in Houston before a scheduled flight to New Jersey for Sunday's rematch of the 2015 Copa America final vs. Chile.