sport

Uruguay upbeat over Suarez

Uruguay remain cautiously optimistic about Luis Suarez's participation in the World Cup as the Liverpool striker continues his rehabilitation from a minor knee operation.

The 27-year-old underwent keyhole surgery on Thursday to repair damage to the meniscus in his left knee, which immediately put his participation in Brazil in doubt.

Uruguay would not rule the country's all-time leading goalscorer out of the tournament immediately after the procedure and team doctor Alberto Pan said there was nothing since to suggest they should change their opinion.

"The core of the concept of his return was expressed in the initial statement made in the immediate post-operative period and we can happily say that Luis' participation in the World Cup is not ruled out," said Pan.

"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."

Suarez will continue his rehabilitation away from the main squad and national team coach Oscar Washington Tabarez said they would not rush him back.

Uruguay play Costa Rica on June 15 before they face England in Sao Paulo four days later.

"What happens with Luis will depend on the evolution of his knee," said Tabarez.

"We have no doubt about his enthusiasm and condition but our main concern is the health of the player."

In its original statement last week the Uruguay Football Association hinted Suarez's injury could have had its origin in a clash with Newcastle defender Paul Dummett in the final Premier League match of the season.

That resulted in the defender receiving abuse from South America on social media but Dr Pan said there was no definitive opinion on what had caused the problem.

"You cannot be sure that the injury is due to trauma in the last game of the Premier League, there are no certainties," he added.