Updates from Tuesday, June 24
Luis Suarez has confessed he is still not 100 percent fit ahead of Uruguay's must-win game with Italy, but says he expects his knee to withstand its next test.
Suarez said ahead of Tuesday's clash, per Sky Sports:
Last week I was full of cramps and I was tired but of course you have a certain experience and you can build yourself up and come to the next assignment and this is what I am doing.
I am building myself up again for the game against Italy.
The knee feels good. I think it’s in perfect shape but when you have surgery, you need some time to see the reaction. Having played so much of the England game [88 minutes] and been the object of so much attention‚ if the knee didn’t feel good, I would have told the coach. But I am cool right now.
Updates from Thursday, June 19
Luis Suarez is in the starting lineup as Uruguay take on England, The Sun confirmed today:
Earlier in the day, Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez appears ready to play Luis Suarez in Thursday's crunch World Cup clash with England, but admits he's not 100 percent fit.
Tabarez warned fans not to expect the razor-sharp Suarez that tormented defences for Liverpool this season, saying the following according to the Daily Mirror's John Cross:
So, he was able to train. A training session is not the same as a match. If he plays we must consider the possibility that he's not as well as he was during the Premier League. Even when not 100 per cent he is someone who can give a lot to his team. That's what we're considering right now.
Updates from Monday, June 16
Luis Suarez spoke on his fitness prior to Uruguay's match vs. England (via The Guardian):
“I’m 100%, otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” Suárez told Uruguayan reporters at the team’s training camp in Sete Lagoas.
“I knew it would be difficult [to be ready for] the first game, but if the proper time was left then I was going to be 100% afterwards. I’ve done everything I had to do.
“I’m training today with the team and I feel in good condition. I never lost the joy and the desire. I never thought I would miss the World Cup.”
Updates from Saturday, June 14
Sky Sports had an update after Uruguay's loss to Costa Rica:
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez says there are no guarantees that Luis Suarez will be fit to face England on Thursday.
Suarez was an unused substitute as Uruguay were beaten 3-1 by Costa Rica on Saturday as they got their World Cup Group D campaign off to a terrible start.
"Luis Suarez is no longer injured, because he wouldn't have been a substitute if he was," he said.
"As we said from the beginning, if he meets the challenges, we will see how he can get into the team - and at which point.
"We need him to reach a point where he can play in a match. It was he who demanded to be on the bench, not watching from the stands. It would have been very difficult for him to play though.
"There were certain concerns over his fitness and it was very improbable that he would play. We will see about England."
ESPNFC confirms that Luis Suarez officially won't start in Saturday's match:
As expected, Suarez not in the XI for #URU: Muslera, Lugano, Godin, Gargano, Rodriguez, Forlan, Stuani, Pereira, Arevalo, Cavani, Caceres— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 14, 2014
Updates from Friday, June 13
BBC reports that Suarez will not start:
Luis Suarez will not start for Uruguay in their Group D opener with Costa Rica on Saturday in Fortaleza, according to manager Oscar Tabarez.
The Liverpool striker has returned to full training for the first time since his knee operation on 21 May.
But Tabarez named his starting side, which did not include Suarez's name, at a news conference on Friday.
However the Uruguay boss has not ruled out Suarez playing some stage of the match.
Luis Suarez has taken yet another step on the road to recovery from knee surgery, completing a first full training session alongside his Uruguay team-mates on Thursday.
Suarez is aiming to prove his fitness ahead of Saturday's clash with Costa Rica, and BBC Sport reports:
Luis Suarez has been involved in full training with Uruguay for the first time since his knee operation 21 May.
The Liverpool striker, 27, who scored 31 league goals this season, took part in a session on Thursday as Uruguay prepared for their opening Group D match against Costa Rica on Saturday.
Liverpool posted a picture of their star striker in action:
Updates from Wednesday, June 11
Sky Sports reports Suarez is making progress while RPCTV Panama shows the attacker back on the training pitch:
See Luis Suarez back in training with Uruguay - the striker appearing to show no ill-effects from minor knee surgery last month #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 11, 2014
Coach Oscar Taberez also delivered a positive update, per Sky Sports, although he was unable to confirm Suarez's availability for Uruguay's first game against Costa Rica:
He's responding very well and his spirits couldn't be better. He's working full out on his physical fitness.
As we have no set deadlines, I don't know if we'll have him for the first match, for the second, for the third. If it were up to me, Suarez would play tomorrow.
Updates from Tuesday, June 10
Sky Sports provides an update from Luis Suarez, who spoke about his injury and recovery in an 888poker video:
"Hello to everyone, I wanted to tell you that my knee is getting better," Suarez said in an 888poker video, which looked to have been filmed on the team's flight to Belo Horizonte.
"I feel very good, I have to go day by day, but everything is on the right way.
"I wanted to thank you all for the support I received during this week and now my mind is focused on the World Cup."
Updates from Sunday, June 8
Sid Lowe of The Guardian provides insight into Luis Suarez's thought process leading up to the World Cup:
Emotionally, I’ve felt fine; psychologically, I’ve been spectacular. At no time did I feel pressured, at no time have I felt sad because at no point did I think there was a chance of me missing the World Cup,” he says.
“The thought never went through my mind. I could have really cried [in pain] because of this injury but I didn’t because I knew. I knew. When the doctor first spoke to me three little tears fell but no more. My wife said: ‘I can’t believe how strong you’re being’ but I knew I’d make it.”
Ah, but to which game? “What you don’t know is how the knee will react,” he says. “Today, I could say to you: ‘Yeah, I’ll make it to the first game’. Or: ‘No, I prefer to wait for the second or the third’.
Updates from Monday, June 2
Luis Suarez is expected to return to light training with the Uruguay squad on Monday, as he steps up his bid to be fit for the nation's first World Cup game.
The Daily Mail's Pete Jenson reports:
Luis Suarez will take another step towards winning the race to be fit to face England at the World Cup on Monday when he trains with team-mates.
The Liverpool striker is not expected to take part in the full session but for the first time since going under the knife for surgery on the meniscus cartilage he will run out with team-mates at Uruguay’s Montevideo training camp.
Updates from Saturday, May 31
Suarez has been included in the 23-man roster for Uruguay's World Cup squad, per football-italia.net.
Updates from Wednesday, May 28
Luis Suarez has texted his Liverpool team-mates to tell them he will be fit to face England in the World Cup.
The Telegraph's Matt Law reports:
Suárez has been in touch with some of his Liverpool friends in the England squad, who are preparing at St George’s Park for Friday’s Wembley send-off against Peru.
It is understood Suárez told Liverpool players by text message that he expects to recover in time for the World Cup and to play against England in Sao Paulo.
Glen Johnson is quoted saying by BBC Sport: "I spoke to him in the week. He doesn't think that it is that bad so he thinks he will be OK."
Uruguay remain less confident on Suarez's recovery from a knee injury. Strike partner Edinson Cavani admits the setback has hurt the squad's morale.
Speaking to El Pais and reported by the Press Association via ESPN FC, Cavani said:
We're all a bit discouraged by what happened. Injuries are always ugly and more so at this time.
I think we have to leave him alone now so he can have a good recovery with no anxiety on him.
We wish he can join us as soon as possible.
Updates from Tuesday, May 27
Liverpool have been assured by Uruguay that Luis Suarez will not be forced back onto the pitch until he has fully recovered from his knee operation.
Coach Oscar Washington Tabarez is quoted saying of the striker ahead of the World Cup, per ESPN:
The periods will not be fast-tracked. We won't take any unnecessary risks. We want to be very cautious.
What happens with Luis will depend on the evolution of his knee. We have no doubt about his enthusiasm and condition but our main concern is the health of the player.
Uruguay team doctor, Alberto Pan, has confessed Suarez's World Cup dream remains up in the air less than three weeks out from the opening game. Sky Sports provides his quotes:
It is very risky to give exact dates. We cannot have absolute certainty or clear numbers but the post-operative period has been very good.
Luis is not ruled out of the World Cup, but you cannot talk about specific times.
Luis is very positive, I never heard a negative expression, and he says it is better every day. Today he is painless and is working on fitness and supporting essentials.
Updates from Friday, May 23
Luis Suarez is confident he will still play in the World Cup, following his bout of knee surgery. The Uruguay forward posted the following on his Twitter account:
Thank you very much for the messages of support, love and encouragement throughout the day! The strength that my loved ones give me... (1/2)— Luis Suarez (@luis16suarez) May 22, 2014
...will make me work hard to reach the World Cup. My family and I are very grateful to all of you!! (2/2) pic.twitter.com/DJDsQy3hsr— Luis Suarez (@luis16suarez) May 22, 2014
Suarez also told South American radio station Ovacion, per ESPN:
Be calm - I am going to get there. Thanks for all your support. I am going to work really hard in the coming days to be at 100 percent and help my team-mates.
Uruguayan FA president Wilmar Valdez has confessed Suarez could miss the opening two games of the World Cup, also reported by Ovacion via ESPN:
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 or 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.
Meanwhile, Newcastle defender Paul Dummett—whose challenge is said to have caused the injury—insisted there was no intent behind the tackle which earned him a red card.
Jeremy Armstrong and David Maddock of the Mirror provide the quotes:
The challenge was inadvertent. I hit him and the ball with my left foot and he went down under the challenge.
I hope he makes the World Cup because he is one of the best players in the world so he should be there.
Having said that, I injured my meniscus three years ago and I was out for three months, so it will depend on the injury and exactly where it is on the knee.
Updates from Thursday, May 22
Telegraph Football provides a photo of Luis Suarez exiting the hospital in a wheelchair:
Suarez seen emerging from hospital in a wheelchair: pic.twitter.com/LgDFmd7HgU— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) May 22, 2014
Suarez's mom has confirmed the Uruguay hitman was in post-surgery recovery following a procedure on his knee on Thursday.
According to Sky News' Paul Kelso, Suarez's mum told The Associated Press he should be back in time for the nation's World Cup opener with Costa Rica, which takes place June 14:
Luis Suarez's mum has told AP that he has had knee surgery on his meniscus & will be fit in 2-3 weeks so ready for the World Cup— Paul Kelso (@pkelso) May 22, 2014
The Mirror's David Maddock provides a further update, revealing Liverpool gave the green light for Suarez to have the procedure:
The operation was performed on the fifth floor of the Sociedad Medica Uruguaya headquarters, by Dr Luis Francescoli.
Liverpool authorised the surgery after checking ultrasound scans sent over by the Uruguayan FA.
Uruguay released a statement Thursday on Suarez's surgery, according to ESPNFC.com:
"He is not ruled out of World Cup play," the statement said. "It is important to note that the player received a direct hit to his left knee during his final Premier League match with Liverpool on Sunday, May 11, 2014, had pain and was on sports rest after finishing the league season."
Uruguay's 2014 World Cup hopes may have hit a major snag after news that star striker Luis Suarez will have a meniscus procedure on Thursday.
Uruguayan journalist Martin Charquero reported the news, noting Suarez will likely be ready for the start of the competition, per Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl:
Well-connected Uruguayan journalist @MartinCharquero reporting Luis Suárez will have meniscus procedure tomorrow, should be ready for WC.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) May 22, 2014
Roberto Pastoriza, Uruguay's national teams secretary, appeared to support Charquero's prediction that Suarez will recover from what he described as a "sore knee," although he confessed an official update will only come after the procedure.
According to the report I received a while ago, we are optimistic that Luis Suarez can arrive at the World Cup. ...
... Suarez decided to have an MRI after feeling a twinge in his knee – there will be an official announcement on Thursday morning… We will then know a lot more about recovery time.
The Liverpool man's potential absence would be a huge boost for England and Italy, the two main rivals to Uruguay in the group stage of the World Cup.
No matter your opinion of Suarez's on-field antics, football fans across the globe should be in agreement that the 2014 World Cup would be slightly less exciting without him at 100 percent. He's one of the best players in the world on current form.
The 27-year-old was the catalyst for Liverpool's Premier League title challenge and finished in a tie with Cristiano Ronaldo for the European Golden Shoe. Both players ended up with 31 goals in their respective domestic leagues.
Should Suarez be dealing with the aftereffects of the procedure by the time Uruguay's first match of the World Cup rolls around on June 14, La Celeste could be in trouble. Even in a team with Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan, Suarez commands a major presence.
If he is forced to miss one game, Uruguay will be glad Costa Rica come first in their group. The clashes with England and Italy will likely decide the group, and the South Americans should be able to negotiate their first outing without the Liverpool man.
However, meniscus injuries regularly cause four-to-six-week layoffs, and with the opening game nearing, surgery is hardly ideal preparation for Suarez.
BeIN Sports' Tancredi Palmeri offers a straw of optimism for Uruguay as they wait on news of their striker:
Seems Luis Suarez only missing debut vs Costa Rica.In '94 Baresi,same injury,within 23 days back on pitch to play WC final.Suarez will play— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) May 22, 2014
Sixty-four years ago, when Brazil last hosted the World Cup, Uruguay walked away with their second and most recent title. For that to happen again, they'll need their talismanic striker back to full fitness as quickly as possible.