Uruguay is facing a virtual must-win game Thursday after losing 3-1 to Costa Rica in their 2014 FIFA World Cup opener.
Having their best player back on the field should help.
Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, whose lingering knee injury forced him to sit out the loss, fully participated in Monday’s training session and is ready to return for Thursday’s pivotal Group D game against England.
“It’s been a hard couple of days because of the defeat to Costa Rica,” Suarez said in a video message to fans, via ESPN.com. “I want to thank you for all the support we received these (last few) days and to tell you to stay calm, we’re going to give our best against England.”
Fans of La Celeste are hoping Suarez is right, as a loss to the Three Lions would spell elimination for Uruguay just four years after it reached the semifinal round at the 2010 World Cup.
If anyone could give the South American nation a spark, though, it’s Suarez, who earned the Premier League’s Golden Boot award after scoring a league-high 31 goals this season for Liverpool.
No one is more aware of Suarez’s prowess than England, which will do everything in its power to slow down the dynamic striker.
“He is a fantastic player,” English midfielder Frank Lampard told reporters. “He was the best player in the Premier League last year, quite rightly voted for by the other players.
“We know that, it’s as simple as that. There isn’t some fantastic way of keeping him quiet. All you can do is try to prepare right, defend well individually and as a team, and do as well as you can.”