Valencia have confirmed David Silva will be out for three months after undergoing ankle surgery.
Silva suffered the injury in Valencia's opening game of the new Primera Liga season against Mallorca at the end of last month.
He sat out Spain's 2010 World Cup qualifying wins over Bosnia-Herzegovina and Armenia as the state of the injury was assessed.
Damage to the cartilage in Silva's left ankle prompted Valencia to send the youngster for an operation in Barcelona on Tuesday.
Silva is now recovering from the surgery and will be facing a fight to return to first-team action before the end of the year.
Los Che coach Unai Emery told the Spanish media: "This is bad news for the team, but Silva will be with us again."