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Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa sidelined by slipped disc

Sid Lowe tries to make sense of Atleti's struggles after a fourth draw in their last five La Liga matches.

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is facing three months on the sidelines due to a slipped disc in his neck with the club set to weigh up treatment options in the coming days.

Costa had an X-ray to assess the discomfort he has felt this week.

An Atletico statement said: "Costa suffers from a herniated cervical disc and in the next few days will be assessed by specialists in neurosurgery to establish the definitive treatment."

The Spain international is expected to undergo surgery. He will be out of action until February 2020 regardless of whether he has an operation.

The injury will further complicate Costa's hopes of returning to the Spain squad and playing at Euro 2020. He has not featured for La Roja since July 2018.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Atletico have no intention of going into the transfer market to find a temporary replacement for Costa or anyone else, with the club having already reached its salary cap limit set by La Liga.

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