Soldado facing long injury lay-off

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Villarreal head into the new Primera Division season light on attacking options after losing Roberto Soldado to a long-term knee injury.

The 31-year-old striker suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on Tuesday against Deportivo La Coruna in the Trofeo Teresa Herrera pre-season tournament at the Riazor.

Scans on Wednesday revealed the extent of the damage, which will keep Soldado on the sidelines for the next six months at least and leaves Yellow Submarine head coach Marcelino with just one fit player up front in new signing Alexandre Pato.

Marcelino is already without injured forward Cedric Bakambu (foot) for his side's league opener at Granada on August 20, as well as their two-legged Champions League play-off tie against Monaco.

"Tests carried out this morning on the player Roberto Soldado have confirmed that the Villarreal forward has suffered a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament and external meniscus on his right knee," read a statement on the club's official website.

"The player will undergo a surgical intervention in the coming days. Soldado was injured in yesterday's friendly against Deportivo de la Coruna at Riazor, a few minutes after taking to the pitch following the half-time break, and had to be replaced by his team-mate Mario Gonzalez. Be strong, Rober!"