MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay striker Luis Suarez had surgery on his left knee Thursday but is expected to recover in time for the World Cup, where as one of the world's top players he is to be his team's main threat.
The arthroscopy repaired damaged cartilage. The Uruguayan soccer association said "no other injuries were found" and his participation in the World Cup is "not ruled out."
The surgery was done at Medica Uruguaya hospital in Montevideo, and the Liverpool star's mother told The Associated Press her son is in good spirits and is "going to play the World Cup."
"The surgery is over and thank God everything went well," Sandra Diaz said shortly after speaking to him by phone. "What Luis had wasn't as serious as we thought."
Suarez is considered just a notch below Argentina's Lionel Messi and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo. He had his best season with Liverpool, scoring a league-leading 31 goals. He was voted player of the year in England by the players' association.
"Take it easy because I'm going to make it (to the cup) and will work very hard these days to be at 100 percent and help out my teammates," Suarez told the local El Pais newspaper after the surgery.
Uruguayan soccer authorities said Suarez began feeling pain in his left knee during his last Premier League game and felt sharp pain again while training with the national team Wednesday. He underwent a magnetic resonance scan that confirmed the cartilage injury.
Suarez's sister said the striker is expected to be out two to three weeks. 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.
"The problem is that these days he won't be able to play, and will only be able to do physiotherapy," Giovanna Suarez said.
Suarez trained with teammates Wednesday morning but was not on the field in the afternoon. The Uruguayan association said at the time he was working out at the gym.
Suarez had a troubled start to this season, sitting out the remainder of a 10-game suspension for biting an opponent last season. He also served an eight-game ban for racially abusing a Premier League opponent. Suarez scored three goals at the 2010 World Cup, and added four when Uruguay won the 2011 Copa America in Argentina.