Augusto Fernández was operated with success at the FREMAP Clinic in Majadahonda on Tuesday after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Sunday.
The 30 year-old, who signed last January to replace Tiago after his broken leg, faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines and may not play again this season with an estimated recovery period of up to 9 months.
Fans feared the worst when the Argentine was forced out of Atlético Madrid’s win over Deportivo La Coruña, and had those fears confirmed after the game when the severity of the injury was revealed.
On Tuesday he underwent knee surgery at the club hospital at their Cerro del Espino training complex, with pictures from AS showing him arrive on crutches with a large cast over his leg.
“I’ll return with more enthusiasm than ever,” he told reporters, whilst seemingly in good spirits. “The support and warmth from everybody has been incredible.”
Augusto also thanked fans for their support with an Instagram post on Monday night, sharing a picture alongside Griezmann, Correa, Godín and Gaitán as they joined him and his family for a barbecue.
His absence means Cholo will have less chances to rest Gabi and Tiago, and will probably give more responsibility to Koke and Saúl in central midfield. Thomas could also see more minutes as a result.
However, with a transfer ban to come next summer, Augusto’s return will be like a new signing ahead of our move to La Peineta for 2016/17.
He wasn’t the only player forced off with an injury vs. Depor, as José Giménez also limped off in the first half having strained a muscle in his right thigh.
It came at a bad time for the Uruguayan in what was his first league start of the season, but thankfully he will only be out for 2-3 weeks and should return for the game against Granada on October 15th.
How much will Augusto’s loss impact the squad? Can Gabi and Tiago handle the extra demand?