May 22, 2014 / 10:08 AM / 5 years ago

Uruguay's Suarez has knee surgery before World Cup

Liverpool's Luis Suarez (C) reacts to the crowd with his children Benjamin (R) and Delfina (L) following their final soccer match of the Premier League season against Newcastle United which they won 2-1, at Anfield in Liverpool, northern England May 11, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble

MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Uruguay are hopeful striker Luis Suarez will be fit for the World Cup finals after having surgery on his left knee on Thursday, team doctors said.

Suarez, who helped Uruguay to fourth place at the last World Cup in South Africa four years ago, will need 15 to 20 days to recover but has not been ruled out of the tournament in Brazil, which runs from June 12 to July 13.

“Yesterday... Luis Suarez, after the normal warm-up (for practice) felt an intense pain in his left knee... An MRI scan confirmed partial lesion of the external meniscus,” a Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) statement said.

“This morning he had an arthroscopy with a partial resection of the meniscus... His participation in the World Cup in Brazil is not ruled out.”

The statement said Suarez, who was top scorer in the English Premier League, where he scored 31 goals for Liverpool, suffered a knock in the club’s final match of the season.

The 27-year-old striker has little room for manoeuvre before Uruguay play their first match in Group D, against Costa Rica in Fortaleza on June 14.

Uruguay also face England and Italy in the group matches.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney and Malena Castaldi in Montevideo; Writing by Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires Editing by Ian Ransom

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