A nation goes under the knife

  • AFP, Montevideo
  • Updated: May 23, 2014 00:20 IST

Liverpool star Luis Suarez is remaining upbeat after the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) said that his participation at the World Cup “is not ruled out” following knee surgery on Thursday.

In an email sent to Uruguayan journalist Federico Buysan, and which the latter posted on Twitter, Suarez wrote: “I’m doing great and am ready to run. Thanks to everyone and stay calm, I’ll make it”.

Earlier, in the first official statement to come out of the Uruguayan camp after news leaked that Suarez would require an operation, the AUF indicated that the player had “suffered an intense pain in his left knee” in training on Wednesday morning.

It was therefore decided that he should undergo “arthroscopic surgery to repair meniscus damage”.

The statement added that “no other damage to the knee was spotted” but the AUF pointed out that the 27-year-old took a knock to the same knee playing for Liverpool against Newcastle United on the final day of the Premier League season on May 11.

Suarez’s mother Sandra Diaz told local media that he would be released from hospital around lunchtime on Thursday.

He now faces a race against time to be ready for Uruguay’s World Cup campaign, which begins in a little over three weeks against Costa Rica in the northern Brazilian city of Fortaleza.

recovery could take two to six weeks

Experts said it could take anything from two to six weeks to recover from the keyhole surgery, but the AUF are remaining optimistic.

News of the injury generated widespread reaction on Twitter, with the former president of the AUF, Sebastian Bauza, writing: “STRENGTH LUIS!! Everyone in Uruguay is confident that you will recover!!!”

Uruguay, the 2011 Copa America winners, are hoping to be able to pair Suarez with Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani in attack as they prepare to come up against England and Italy as well as Costa Rica in Group D.

Suarez was the top scorer in the South American World Cup qualifying group with 11 goals. He was also the fastest to reach the 20-goal mark (15 games) in the English Premier League this season, ending it with 31 goals. Suarez only arrived in the capital on Tuesday, but insisted he was anxious to start training with his teammates.

After playing Costa Rica on June 14, they face England in Sao Paulo on June 19 and then Italy.

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