Luis Suarez has undergone minor knee surgery but has not been ruled out of the World Cup, the Uruguay Football Association (AUF) announced today. The 27-year-old injured the meniscus in his left knee while training with the national side, and after an MRI scan it was decided to send the player for a minor operation.
Suarez's arthroscopic surgery lasted about 30 minutes and he is likely to be sidelined for at least a couple of weeks but Uruguay officials remain confident he will be fit for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. The South American's first match is against Costa Rica on 15 June before they face England in Sao Paolo four days later.
"Yesterday, Wednesday 21st of May, Luis Suarez suffered an intense pain in his left knee after an undergoing a normal warm up," read a statement from the AUF. "He had an MRI scan which confirmed a partial lesion of the external meniscus of his left knee.
"On Thursday morning, he underwent an arthroscopic partial resection of his meniscus in the Medica Uruguaya hospital. There was no evidence of any further damage to the knee. His participation to the World Cup in Brazil has not been ruled out."
AUF president Wilmar Valdez suggested if Suarez's recovery went to plan he could return to training in just over a fortnight.
"We know the surgery was a success and that the injury is not serious. We have to wait and see how he recovers," he told Uruguayan newspaper La Ovacion.
"We had very little time to react and without knowing the extent of the injury, we didn't want to raise the alarm to the public. These are injuries that, considering Suarez's fitness and if the recovery is good, will not take long for him to return to play.
"We have to calculate if he will arrive for the first, second of third (group game at the World Cup). We know that normally the recovery period, if all goes well, is around 15 days to return to training.
"We all know what Luis represents to the national team and more so, considering the great form he was in. Considering how valuable he is to the national team, it is a big concern for us."
Suarez, who was named the Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers' Association player of the year after scoring 31 league goals, is his country's all-time leading scorer with 39 in 77 appearances.