Boca's Palermo out up to 6 months with torn knee

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Boca Juniors striker Martin Palermo, who tore ligaments in his right knee on Sunday, will be operated on at the Agote Clinic on Tuesday afternoon.

Palermo, 34, was injured in the first half of Sunday's league game with Lanus, which Boca won 2-1, and is likely to be out of action for at least six months.

"This injury is more severe than the one from before," Boca doctor Jorge Batista told the press, in reference to the knee injury Palermo suffered in a match against Colon de Santa Fe back in 1999.

The prolific striker is likely to return to action with Boca Juniors just in time for the 2009 Copa Libertadores, and he is hopeful of participating in the preseason with the Argentine giants at the beginning of next year.

Juan Roman Riquelme, who missed the match because he participated in the Olympic Games soccer final victory over Nigeria, admitted that Palermo's loss is a major set-back for the club.

"It made me very sad, because I first received a phone call, as soon as I came off the plane, that Boca had won, but then I was very sad about the next call, when they told me what happened to Martin," he stated.