- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) - Uruguay’s star striker Luiz Suarez is “evolving well,” the national team’s doctor said on Monday following knee surgery last week.

Suarez is believed to have picked up the knock in Liverpool’s last league game of the season and had an operation last Thursday. Doctor Alberto Pan refused to rule the striker out of the World Cup but couldn’t give the assurances that he would be fit to play in Brazil.

“Luis is evolving very well, but it’s still premature to give out times for his return to training,” Pan said at a news conference held at the team’s complex in Montevideo. “Today, Luis is not feeling any pain; he’s working on his muscles and putting only the essential pressure on his leg.”

For now, Suarez will work on his recovery from his home in Montevideo and he will later continue therapy at a sports complex, Pan said. “The first week is all observation, rest and working on muscles. After that, it will be more demanding.”


Uruguay’s coach Oscar Washington Tabarez told reporters on Monday that the team’s main concern will be to take care of Suarez’s health and guaranteed that his return will not be hastened nor forced.

“The periods will not be fast-tracked,” he said. “We won’t take any unnecessary risks. We want to be very cautious.”

The tournament kicks off on June 12 and Uruguay plays its World Cup opener against Costa Rica on June 14. The team then faces England on June 19 and Italy on June 24.

Suarez had his best season with Liverpool, scoring a league-leading 31 goals, and was voted player of the year in England by the players’ association. He is still expected to be Uruguay’s main threat at the World Cup.

“We were all hit by his injury,” his teammate, midfielder Walter Gargano, said on Monday. “But we hope Luis can be with us as soon as possible. It would very difficult for us to play without him.”