Ajax’s Cristian Chivu will be out of action for at least month after aggravating a knee injury during Romania’s EURO 2004 qualifier defeat by Norway.

Chivu flew back to Amsterdam from Bucharest for surgery and could miss Ajax’s three remaining UEFA Champions League games in Group D as well as several domestic league matches.

The 21-year-old admitted he was struggling towards the end of the match with Norway and claimed he played the last 10 minutes of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat “on one leg”.

Chivu, who had been struggling with a problem in his right knee, was kept on the pitch by coach Anghel Iordanescu despite asking to be substituted, a decision which will infuriate his club. Chivu’s Ajax team-mate, the Norwegian international Andre Bergdolmo, admitted as much, when he stated: “The Ajax coaches will be very upset when they find out what happened.”