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May 22, 2014

Luis Suarez undergoes knee surgery

Uruguay star Luis Suarez underwent a surprise surgery to repair his meniscus, raising questions over his fitness for the World Cup.

Uruguay are "optimistic" that Luis Suarez should be able to play a part in the coming World Cup despite undergoing a knee operation, the Uruguay football federation said on Thursday.

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"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."

The mother of the 27-year-old Liverpool striker confirmed he had successful keyhole surgery on his left knee on Thursday to repair damage to his meniscus. According to Suarez's sister, the striker is expected to be out for two to three weeks.

"The operation is complete and thank God everything turned out well," Diaz said. "It wasn't so bad what Luis had."

Suarez's participation in the tournament was thrown into serious doubt after the Liverpool striker reportedly felt a problem with his knee at training on Wednesday, with a subsequent scan detecting meniscus that required immediate surgery.

"The problem is that these days he won't be able to play, and will only be able to do physiotherapy," Suarez's sister, Giovanna Suarez, said.

"He underwent a magnetic resonance and it came out that he had to undergo surgery. It was that quick," she said.

The surgery was carried out at the Medica Uruguaya hospital in Montevideo. Local media reported that it was an arthroscopy.

The player's mother only said it was surgery that used "a laser technique."

Suarez, the PFA and Football Writers' Player of the Year after scoring 31 goals for Liverpool, now faces a race against time to be fit for his country's group games against Costa Rica on June 14 and then England five days later.

The recovery time is not known, although reports in Uruguay said the issue was relatively minor and would only require 15 to 20 days on the sidelines.

Roberto Pastoriza, national teams secretary with the Uruguay FA (AUF), spoke to Ovacion Digital, confirming Suarez had a knee issue and the full details would be communicated later on Thursday.

"According to the information I have received a short while ago, they are optimistic that he can make the World Cup," Pastoriza said.

"[Suarez felt] a problem in his knee, so he went for some tests. It all happened very quickly, a few hours ago [Wednesday night]. The matter is being looked after by the national team's medics. I cannot say anything else. It will be announced officially by the AUF on Thursday morning."

The news was first reported by prominent Uruguayan journalist Martin Charquero, who was also the first to reveal that Suarez would sign a new contract with Liverpool in January.

"Luis Suarez felt discomfort in today's training session," Charquero tweeted. "Later a scan was carried out, where a meniscus problem was detected."

An hour later Charquero then said the operation would taking place early Thursday morning local time. "Luis Suarez operation will be at 7.30 in Medica Uruguaya."

Suarez's brother Paolo appeared to confirm the issue to Charquero on Twitter, while saying his brother would make the upcoming tournament.

Spanish daily Marca also quotes a source in the player's camp as saying: "He can make it to Brazil, that has not been discarded. In fact, I believe he is going to make it."

The loss of Suarez would be a blow to Uruguay's hopes, especially as they were handed one of the toughest groups in the draw, and it would place extra pressure on Edinson Cavani.

Real Sociedad's Gonzalo Castro and Nacional's Alvaro Fernandez are the stand-by strikers on Oscar Tabarez's squad, which currently has 25 players and must be cut by two for the finals.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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