Luis Suarez is in a race against time.
Suarez underwent minor knee surgery to repair a damaged meniscus on Thursday morning, and the Uruguayan Football Association is “optimistic” that the star striker will recover in time to participate in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, according to Sky Sports.
“According to the report I received a while ago, they are optimistic that he can play the World Cup,” AUF official Roberto Pastoriza said.
Suarez reportedly felt pain in his knee during Uruguay’s practice Wednesday. Medical staff immediately ran an MRI scan to determine what the problem was and they discovered Suarez damage to his meniscus. They then performed what is often known as “keyhole surgery” on the star’s knee.
It often takes four to six weeks to recover from this type of injury.
The injury almost certainly rules Suarez out of Uruguay’s World Cup tune-up games against Northern Ireland on May 31 and Slovenia on June 5.
Uruguay opens its World Cup Group D schedule against Costa Rica on June 14. It then plays England on June 19 and Italy on June 24.
Suarez is expected to be a key figure in Uruguay’s attack, alongside Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan. Abel Hernandez or Christian Stuani could be thrust into a prominent role should Suarez make a slow recovery from the surgery.
The AUF claims Suarez suffered the injury in Liverpool’s final game of the 2013-14 season — a 2-1 win against Newcastle United on May 11.