Atlético Madrid defender Stefan Savić could be forced to spend a significant amount of time on the sidelines this season, after returning from international duty with a severe muscle contusion, the club has confirmed.
Savić was actually on the scoresheet for Montenegro as they secured a 2-0 win over Lithuania, but after sustaining an injury late in the match, the 27-year-old could be ruled out of action for a number of weeks.
Atlético confirmed on their official website that Savić has undergone tests at the University Hospital of Navarra which have shown, in addition to the muscle contusion, he also has an associated hematoma (swelling caused by blood clotting) in his leg.
Los Colchoneros are still waiting to evaluate Savić for themselves before they can give an estimated recovery period, but given the defender's history and the type of injury he sustained, it is possible that the Montenegro international will not be available for over a month.
In the short term, Savić will miss league matches against Eibar and Getafe, as well as the start of the club's Champions League campaign, where AS Monaco, Club Brugge and Borussia Dortmund join Atlético Madrid in Group A.
Diego Godin and José Giménez will remain as their first choice centre back pairing, while World Cup-winning left back Lucas Hernández could also be used through the middle.
However, Atlético might be forced to promote some of their younger players into the first team sooner rather than later in an attempt to provide extra cover, with a call up for teenagers Francisco Montero and Aitor Puñal an option that Diego Simeone should consider.