French midfielder Robert Pires will be out of action for six months after snapping a cruciate knee ligament.
Pires, 32, joined Villarreal from Arsenal in the summer but will have to see the majority of the campaign from the sidelines.
Villarreal’s Argentine international centre back Gonzalo Rodriguez suffered the same injury in his right knee in the game against Real Madrid on Saturday and will be out of action for a similar period.
“It’s the same injury as Gonzalo has,” club president Fernando Roig told reporters on Monday when asked about the results of scans carried out on Pires’s knee. “He will have to undergo surgery.”
Roig added that the club would be looking for reinforcements to replace both players