updated 03/15/2010 AT 7:20 AM ET
•originally published 03/15/2010 AT 7:40 AM ET
David Beckham’s fourth World Cup dreams are done.
Beckham, 34, who has been playing in Italy for AC Milan to improve his chances of making the international team, suffered an agonizing injury Sunday and collapsed in the final minutes of Milan’s match with Chievo.
According to the BBC, AC Milan coach Leonardo told reporters, “Beckham’s injury makes us feel terrible. He understood immediately that he had torn his [left] Achilles tendon.”
He is seeing a specialist in Finland Monday to assess the damage and he will likely have an operation either then or Tuesday, he spokesman tells PEOPLE. His wife Victoria is jetting out of Los Angeles later Monday to be with him, PEOPLE has confirmed.
“He is understandably upset but wants to thank everyone who has sent message of support. He hopes to make a swift recovery,” his rep, Simon Oliveira, says.
Superstar Beckham, who has played in three previous World Cups, will be out for at least three months, and a recovery in time to participate in this year’s tournament in South Africa is unlikely.
But friends say that claims that his career could be over are “out of line.” He will see what the doctors say, but he has “plenty of years ahead of him,” one says.