Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Exequiel Palacios is expected to miss three months after fracturing a bone in his spine while on international duty with Argentina, the Bundesliga side confirmed on Friday.
Palacios, 22, was carted off during the first half of Thursday’s 1-1 World Cup qualifying stalemate with Paraguay at La Bombonera and promptly taken to hospital in Buenos Aires.
The former River Plate standout was the victim of a rash aerial challenge from Paraguay’s Angel Romero, who received a yellow card following a VAR review.
“The player suffered direct trauma to the left paravertebral lumbar area, verifying a fracture of the transverse processes of the lumbar spine,” a statement from the Argentine Football Association specified.
Leverkusen confirmed Palacios will remain in the Argentine capital to seek further treatment.
The five-time-capped international joined Leverkusen in January 2020 on a five-and-a-half-year deal. He’s made 13 appearances in all competitions during his time in Germany.