Villarreal midfielder Santi Cazorla will use time off with a leg injury to treat a nagging hernia problem, and the Spain international is expected to be sidelined for five to six weeks.
Villarreal said Cazorla underwent the operation on his hernia, repairing a problem that has nagged him since the start of the season. He was already sidelined by a muscle tear in his right thigh.
Cazorla, who was a member of Spain's European Championship-winning team, remains in doubt for this summer's World Cup as he has failed to play regularly since late last season, when he broke his right leg.
The 25-year-old has scored three goals from 14 appearances as Villarreal has struggled, sitting 10th in the Spanish league.