Real Sociedad's Mexican forward Carlos Vela is facing approximately eight weeks on the sidelines after undergoing surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his right knee, the club announced on Monday.
Vela suffered the injury just 17 minutes into Sociedad's 4-1 loss to Real Madrid on Saturday.
The injury will rule the 25-year-old out for around eight games for Sociedad, including games against top-three challengers Valencia and Sevilla. Depending on his recovery, the injury could also affect his availability for the Mexican national team's friendlies against Ecuador (in Los Angeles) and Paraguay (in Kansas City) at the end of March.
In theory, Vela could also be in doubt for Mexico's friendly against the United States on April 15 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. However, that friendly does not take place on an official FIFA international date, so Real Sociedad would not be obligated to release Vela, making his comeback status something of a moot point.
Nonetheless, Vela's international absences may be the most disappointing, both for him and his fans. Vela had only just returned to El Tri in November and was aiming to re-integrate into the team after a couple years of refusing call-ups for various reasons. He didn't disappoint upon his return, scoring two goals in a 3-2 win against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
Vela has made 23 appearances across all competitions for Real Sociedad this season, scoring eight goals and chipping in three assists.