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By ESPN Staff

Barca's Milito out for six months with knee injury

MADRID, May 5 (Reuters) - Barcelona's Argentina centre back Gabriel Milito will be out of action for around six months after surgery on a knee injury, the Primera Liga club said on Monday.

Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure will also undergo an operation for a slipped disc that he has been carrying for some time, after the end of the campaign.

Milito injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the Champions League semi-final second leg defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford last week.

'He will undergo arthroscopic surgery to resolve the problem next week, after which time it will be clearer how long he will be out of action. It will be around six months,' a statement from their medical services said on the club's website.

The 27-year-old tore the same ligament in 2001 and that injury was controversially cited as the reason for a failed move to Real Madrid in 2003.

Barca doctor Ricard Pruna told a news conference the injury was not connected with the old one.

Barca signed Milito from Real Zaragoza for a fee of up to 20.5 million euros ($31.67 million) last July and he has been a key player in their defence this season.

It is a blow for Frank Rijkaard with three games left to play as he tries to secure second place and automatic qualification to the Champions League next year.

His side are third, four points short of Villarreal, and visit newly crowned champions Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Pruna also spoke about the injury Toure had been carrying for a large part of the campaign.

'We are going to operate after the end of the season to resolve the problem. He will be laid low for six to eight weeks after the surgery,' Pruna said.