Carles Puyol, aquest dimecres. FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

The day after the announcement of his knee operation and the fact that he could be out for up to six weeks, Carles Puyol gave an upbeat press conference at the Club today and assured the assembled media: “it’s just like taking your car in for a service. I was more worried about it last year, but this year I’m more optimistic – soon I’ll be back to full fitness”.

Last year’s similar injury has given Puyol more confidence and hope ahead of this year’s operation and he explained: “I didn’t know then what the injury was, but it’s clear now and the doctors have recommended I give my knee a good clean out. If I carried on playing, I’d put my team and my knee at risk”.

Out of European Championships

The injury means Puyol will miss the end of Barça’s season and he commented: “it’s a bad time for it to happen and I’m annoyed about that. The Cup Final is the best game of the season for me, it’s incredible. I’ll still try and help my teammates all I can from the sidelines and try and enjoy the match”.

Puyol will most likely miss Spain’s European Championship too and he admitted: “it looks like I won’t make it, we’ll see how the operation goes, but I think it will be impossible  - I need recovery time too. I was very excited about getting my 100th cap and going to the European Championships, but now I am just focussed on my operation and getting back to full fitness as soon as I can. I’m sure it’ll turn out okay”. Puyol also reckons that for as big a tournament as this summer’s: “the fairest thing is that the best players go”.

“I want to retire on the pitch, not in surgery”

Puyol, who is 34, doesn’t see the operation as putting an end to his international career though and insisted: “if there’s one thing I am clear about, it’s that I want to retire on the pitch, not in surgery. I’ll see how I am next season and take a final decision then”.

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