AC Milan goalkeeper Diego Lopez insists his extended absence from first-team action is due to a genuine injury rather than him losing his place.
Lopez has been absent for Milan's last three games, with 16-year-old Gianluigi Donnarumma taking his place and producing a series of impressive performances.
The former Real Madrid keeper is adamant that he hasn't been dropped, claiming he has been suffering from patellar tendonitis for some time and is only now sorting the problem out.
"For four months I've been living with patellar tendonitis. I've tried to recover and have been working hard with the club's medical staff," he wrote on Facebook.
"During this period, I've done everything possible to be at my best, sacrificing every day, despite the pain, to be available to the coach [Sinisa Mihajlovic].
"Unfortunately the pain has persisted so I have had to stop and pursue a specific recovery plan. This is the only option to resolve the problem.
"I would like to clarify that this decision was made by mutual agreement with the club, and of course has nothing to do with the recent sporting situation, it's a decision of a strictly medical nature.
"I'll continue giving my all to come back soon and as strong as ever."
The club subsequently released a statement corroborating Lopez' claims, stating he is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.