Diego Costa could face three-month layoff after neck operation
Diego Costa will not play again until 2020 after having neck surgery, heightening concerns in front of goal for Atletico boss Diego Simeone.
Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is set for a spell on the sidelines after undergoing neck surgery.
In a statement issued on their official website, Atléti confirmed Costa had an operation on his herniated cervical disc on Thursday.
The procedure was successful but normally requires a recovery time of two to three months.
Speaking earlier this week, Atlético president Enrique Cerezo insisted there were no plans to sign a January replacement for Costa in the event of surgery.
Salary limit stops Atlético finding Costa replacement
"No, because we already tried to sign [a striker] at the beginning of the season and you know that you have to sell someone to be able to buy someone," he told AS, citing his club's salary limit.
"So, I don't know. In principle, no. We have a fantastic team and fantastic strikers who score many goals."
Record signing Joao Felix is in line to boost Diego Simeone's attack by returning from a sprained ankle when Atlético visit Granada in LaLiga on Saturday.
Like Costa, the Portugal forward has only two top-flight goals to his name this term. Alvaro Morata leads the way with five for a team that have 15 goals in 13 LaLiga outings so far
Atléti are third in the table, a point behind Barcelona and Real Madrid having played a game more.
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