Albelda faces spell out

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Valencia midfielder David Albelda faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering a fractured cheekbone on international duty.

Albelda picked up the injury during Spain's shock 3-2 defeat to Northern Ireland on Wednesday night.

The 29-year-old was forced off in the first half of the loss at Windsor Park.

Albelda is expected to undergo surgery on the problem this Friday and the defensive midfielder admitted it was an unfortunate injury.

"It is bad fortune," said Albelda. "These things happen in football."

The news is a major blow for Valencia boss Quique Sanchez Flores as he is already missing Asier del Horno and Ruben Baraja because of injury.

"This is bad news for us," noted Flores.

Albelda is now set to be sidelined for up to three weeks with the injury meaning he will miss this weekend's clash with Atletico Madrid and next week's UEFA Champions League tie with Olympiakos.