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Sweden and Barcelona's Andersson to have surgery on injured thigh

© Reuters 2002

BARCELONA, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Sweden and Barcelona defender Patrik Andersson will undergo surgery to deal with a thigh muscle injury that he sustained while preparing for the World Cup finals, the club said on Monday.

The 31-year-old international, who has not played a competitive match for Barcelona since February, is expected to be out of action for a further six to eight weeks following Monday's operation.

"The recovery time will depend on a number of factors, such as what they find when they operate and on the attitude of the player," said club doctor Ricard Pruna.

Andersson has been plagued by injury problems since joining Barcelona from Bayern Munich for $6.7 million in July 2001.

He suffered a series of knee ligament problems early in his first season and was sidelined for several weeks after being concussed in a league match against Celta Vigo in December.

The defender underwent surgery to deal with his knee problems last February, but did not play another game for Barcelona before the end of the season. Although he recovered in time to be included in the Swedish World Cup squad, he tore a thigh muscle in training and did not play in the tournament.

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