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Luis Suarez faces race to be fit for England World Cup clash after Uruguay striker undergoes knee surgery

Friday, May 23, 2014 by Dailymail

Luis Suarez is in a fight to face England at the World Cup after having surgery on a knee injury on Thursday.

The Liverpool striker’s participation in Brazil was thrown into doubt when he was hurt during a training session with Uruguay in the capital Montevideo on Thursday morning.

Initial fears were that he could be sidelined for months rather than weeks. Uruguay wasted no time sending Suarez for an operation and he had the procedure late in the afternoon.

Stricken: Suarez had to be wheeled out of hospital on Thursday night after his operation

In the spotlight: The Liverpool striker is mobbed by fans as he leaves the hospital

Shock: The news of Suarez's injury came as a big surprise on Thursday morning

Swarm: A large crowd gather around Suarez as he leaves hospital in Montevideo
after being operated on

Transport: Journalists, photographers and fans surround the ambulance carrying Suarez

Hordes of media and fans were gathered outside the Medica Uruguaya hospital as a hooded Suarez was escorted through in a wheelchair.

Uruguay team doctor Alberto Pan is due to hold a press conference on Friday when he will provide an update on the injury and the success of the operation.

Liverpool have been kept informed and are confident the treatment he is receiving is correct. There are no plans to send any club medical staff out to oversee his rehabilitation.

Although it is unlikely he will be ready to face Costa Rica in Uruguay’s Group D opener in Fortaleza on June 14, it is hoped he could face England in Sao Paulo five days later.

A Uruguay Football Association statement said: 'Luis Suarez after the normal warm-up felt an intense pain in his left knee. An MRI scan confirmed partial lesion of the external meniscus.'

'He had an arthroscopy with a partial resection of the meniscus. His participation in the World Cup is not ruled out.'

Surgery: Suarez faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup after going under the knife

Media scrum: Press wait outside the hospital where Suarez was being treated on Thursday

The scene: A view of the facade of the Medica Uruguaya hospital where Suarez was operated on

It was also claimed Suarez suffered the injury in the final game of the season, when he was tackled by Newcastle’s Paul Dummett. That led Uruguay fans to send online death threats to Dummett, who was sent off for the challenge but later had the decision rescinded.

Suarez is upbeat about his prospects and before entering hospital told El Pais newspaper: 'Take it easy because I’m going to make it (to the World Cup) and will work very hard these days to be at 100 per cent and help out my team-mates.'

Such is Suarez’s importance to Uruguay that local reporters even contacted his mother for a diagnosis. She informed them: 'Everything went well. What Luis had wasn’t as serious as we thought. He’s going to play in the World Cup.'

Year to remember: Suarez scored an incredible 31 goals in 33 Premier League games last season

The thought of missing out on Brazil would leave Suarez distraught and Brendan Rodgers once gave an insight into the 27-year-old’s character, saying: 'He’d play football all week, all day and night, if he could. He is a worker, a grafter and lives for football.'

Had Suarez suffered medial ligament damage, as was initially feared, he would have been looking at a lay-off of up to 16 weeks. That would have made him a doubt for the start of the new Premier League campaign.

Former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres suffered meniscus damage during a Europa League game in April 2010 before the World Cup in South Africa.

He managed to get himself fit within seven weeks but, arguably, the rush of getting himself back into contention took its toll.

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