De la Pena surgery last chance to save career

MADRID - Espanyol playmaker Ivan de la Pena will have surgery on a persistent muscle problem in his right leg in an attempt to save his career, the La Liga player said.

"We've tried everything to avoid surgery but it has been no good. Going under the knife is the only remaining solution to see whether I'll be able to compete again," the 33-year-old told reporters on Thursday.

De la Pena, who is expected to be out for two to three months, came up through Barcelona's youth system and had spells with Lazio and Olympique Marseille before joining Espanyol in 2002. He has been capped five times by Spain.