Glen Johnson is hoping Luis Suarez will be fit for England's World Cup encounter with Uruguay, even though his Liverpool teammate is one of the best players he has seen.
Pictures in recent days have shown the 27-year-old in a wheelchair following keyhole surgery last week to repair damage to the meniscus in his left knee.
Those images have led to fears about Suarez's participation in Brazil, but having text Suarez, Johnson is expecting the forward to be fit for the Group D clash between England and Uruguay on June 19.
"Not in those words, no," Johnson said. "But, yeah, that was the point. I've not seen the papers for a while so I don't know what people think the injury is but he doesn't seem to think it's too bad.
"He thinks he'll be fit. We've been talking by text. I certainly don't want him to be injured. You don't ever want to see your mates or teammates injured. But if he was to miss our game and be fit for the next one..."
Suarez enjoyed a fine 2013-14 season at Liverpool, netting 31 goals in 33 league games after returning from suspension for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.
His form helped the Reds go close to a first league title since 1990 and left a huge impression on Johnson.
"He's one of the best strikers I've ever played with and I've played with a few good 'uns," he said.
"He's the sort of player who can create things out of nothing and causes everybody problems -- and you've seen it just as much as I have -- he's clearly not one of the players you want to play against in the World Cup. But I'd rather he be fit than injured."