Suarez Recovering Well, Expected Fit for World Cup

Salah Malkawi

In news that will have both Uruguay and Liverpool fans breathing a little easier, Luis Suarez' recovery from surgery to repair his meniscus remains on track for a rapid return.

News following Luis Suarez' surgery to repair a torn meniscus was generally positive. His doctors came out to reassure a worried Uruguay that the injury he had suffered was less serious than feared, and Suarez himself soon came out to say he had no doubts over whether he would play in this summer's World Cup.

Nearly a week on, and the news continues to be good for Suarez and his chances of making it to Brazil this summer. Which in turn is obviously good news for Liverpool fans themselves made more than a touch nervous by news the 31-goal star had suffered and injury that required surgery, no matter how supposedly minor.

"We can happily say that Luis Suarez' participation in the World Cup is not ruled out," said Alberto Pan, Uruguay's team doctor, addressing the media to update Suarez' status. "It is very risky to give exact dates, and we cannot have absolute certainty or hard numbers, but his post-operative recovery has been very good."

The two and a half weeks between injury and Uruguay's kickoff against Costa Rica on June 15th was always a tight timeframe, and despite the positive news it is still possible Suarez will miss his country's opener. England four days later, though, is another matter—and a match Suarez and his compatriots will be desperate to see him back for.

"Luis is not ruled out," added Pan when pressed further on the subject, "but you cannot talk about specific times. He is very positive—I never heard a negative expression from him—and he is better every day. Today he is painless and is working on fitness and supporting essentials."

After kicking off against Costa Rica and playing England on the 19th, Uruguay round out Group D action when they face Italy on the 24th. Many will expect Uruguay to advance from the group, even if it appears one of the tougher ones of the tournament, though a difficult qualification campaign may give reason for doubt.

Forced to head to the intercontinental playoff against Jordan after finishing fifth behind Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and Ecuador, Uruguay have been surprisingly poor for much of the current cycle. With the ageing Diego Forlan no longer able to tie attack and defence together effectively for ninety minutes, they look a pale shadow of the South African edition.

Add in Suarez' fitness questions and the odds appear stacked against Uruguay in Group D, though if Suarez, the world's top striker this past season, does return in time to play against at least England and Italy it would be foolish to count them out entirely.

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