MADRID (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid forward Adrian has had surgery on the cheekbone he fractured in Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League victory at home to Zenit St Petersburg and will be out for around three weeks, the club said.
In the absence of the suspended Diego Costa, Adrian started the match at the Calderon alongside David Villa but had to come off 12 minutes from time.
The 25-year-old had his operation at a clinic in Madrid on Thursday and will be released on Friday, the club said on their website (www.clubatleticomadrid.com) before adding he would be sidelined for around three weeks.
Coach Diego Simeone was delighted with Adrian's performance against the Russian side and the player was given a rousing ovation by the fans when he was replaced by Leo Baptistao.
"He is an extremely important player for us and his work was exactly what the team needed," Simeone told a news conference.
"He showed how to play a match with restricted space and use his speed in the best way," added the Argentine, a former Atletico midfielder who also captained his country.
"I am happy with his work...and he is a popular member of the group."
Adrian, who has two caps for Spain, is Simeone's third-choice forward and according to media reports he was considering quitting Atletico in the close season.
The Madrid outfit and champions Barcelona are the only sides to have won their opening four La Liga matches. Atletico next visit Real Valladolid on Saturday (9 p.m.).
(Reporting by Iain Rogers; editing by Tony Jimenez)