Uruguay striker Luis Suarez said on Monday he felt “100 per cent” recovered from knee treatment and was ready to face England in Thursday’s group D showdown in Sao Paulo if called upon.
The prolific Liverpool forward’s cartilage surgery went smoothly last month, but he remains short of match fitness and missed Uruguay’s surprise opening 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica.
Coach Oscar Tabarez is staying mum on whether Suarez might start or come on for the game against England, who also lost their first match, 2-1 against Italy.
“I’m 100 percent, otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” Suarez said at the team’s training camp in Sete Lagoas.
“I knew it would be difficult [to be ready for] the first game, but if the proper time was left then I was going to be 100 per cent afterwards. I’ve done everything I had to do.
“I’m training today with the team and I feel in good condition. I never lost the joy and the desire. I never thought I would miss the World Cup.”
Given the importance of Thursday’s game, with a loss for either side probably ending their hopes of progressing beyond the group stage, Tabarez may well gamble on playing Suarez.
Having terrorized Premier League defences all season, Suarez will have relished seeing a few frailties exposed at the back in England’s 2-1 defeat by Italy.
“We hope Luis is fine and plays but if not, then it’s up to the rest of us,” Uruguay captain Diego Lugano said.