SOFIA - Bulgaria midfielder Georgi Peev will miss the opening Euro 2012 qualifiers against England and Montenegro in September as he will undergo a hernia operation this week.
The 31-year-old Amkar Perm midfielder will also not feature in Bulgaria's friendly against Russia in Moscow on August 11.
"I've had a big desire to play against Russia and in the qualifiers but I'll need to rest for at least one month after the surgery before returning to training," the former Dynamo Kiev winger, capped 42 times for Bulgaria, told reporters.
It was another blow for coach Stanimir Stoilov, who has an uphill task in trying to qualify Bulgaria for the Euro 2012 finals as keeper Dimitar Ivankov and striker Dimitar Berbatov quit the national team earlier this year.
Bulgaria have also been drawn with Switzerland and Wales in Group G with the first matches scheduled for September 3 when they visit England.