Uruguay face a late World Cup scare as Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is set to undergo knee surgery on Thursday less than a month before the 2014 World Cup.
The 27-year-old recently concluded the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season as top scorer with 31 goals as Liverpool were beaten to a first league title in 24 years by Manchester City, but it is understood that he twisted his knee during international training on Wednesday.
Suarez, who won both the PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year awards for his performances this season, now faces a race to be fit for Uruguay’s coming World Cup campaign, the side’s Group D matches beginning against Costa Rica on 14 June and then England five days later, concluding against Italy.
Uruguayan FA official Roberto Pastoriza told Ovacion that it is very likely that Suarez will require surgery, but remained optimistic that the striker will appear at next month’s World Cup Finals in Brazil.
“According to the report I received a while ago, they are optimistic that he can play the World Cup,” said Pastoriza.
“Suarez felt discomfort in his knee and thus he had to undergo tests. Everything happened very fast, some hours ago (Wednesday). The national team medical staff is dealing with this and press secretary Matias Faral will communicate the official report.
“Everything was very surprising, Suarez trained with discomfort and it was decided to have an MRI scan. The information until a while ago was that they were deciding what will be done, but there are very high chances there will be a surgical intervention.”
The injury is set to therefore rule out Suarez for Uruguay’s pre-World Cup warm-up games against Northern Ireland on 31 May and Slovenia on 5 June.
Winners of the last World Cup tournament to be held in Brazil back in 1950, Uruguay emerged 5-0 winners in last November’s Playoff against Jordan to make it to the 2014 edition, Suarez currently holding 77 caps and proving an infamous part of the side alongside fellow attackers Edinson Cavani and veteran Diego Forlan.