Madrid - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is suffering from cervical stenosis and will travel to Vancouver, Canada for an operation to correct it, the Italian was quoted as saying on Monday.
Ancelotti is waiting to hear whether he will be replaced as Real coach after they ended the season without winning a major trophy, with an announcement expected in coming days.
The 55-year-old has a contract until the end of next term but Real president Florentino Perez is widely expected to make him the scapegoat for the club's failure.
Ancelotti told Italian daily Il Giornale the stenosis was part of the reason he was planning to take a year out if Real sacked him.
The condition, a narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck area or upper part of the spine, had been causing tingling in his hands, he added.
"If I lose any more time it may spread to the legs so I have made an appointment for the surgery," Ancelotti said, without specifying when.
"And I really do not know how long I have to remain physically immobile for the post-operative phase and the subsequent rehabilitation."
Ancelotti, who has always said he may return one day to coach his former club AC Milan, told Il Giornale he would rest between Madrid and Vancouver after the surgery.
"Because the two years spent at Real were very tiring, believe me, and especially challenging," he said.
"No one can imagine what it costs, in terms of physical and nervous energy, coaching Real."
Spanish media have reported that Napoli's Spanish coach Rafa Benitez, who had a stint working in Real's youth ranks, is the front runner to succeed Ancelotti.