/ 20 April 2010

Torres optimistic over World Cup despite surgery

Torres Optimistic Over World Cup Despite Surgery

Liverpool’s Spanish striker Fernando Torres is confident that he will recover from knee surgery in time for the Soccer World Cup.

“The World Cup is the most important thing right now. It has been four years of waiting and if the timelines for my recovery go according to plan I do not plan to miss it,” the 26-year-old wrote on his official website on Monday.

Torres underwent surgery on a torn cartilage in his right knee in Barcelona on Sunday which will sideline him for around six weeks, meaning he will miss the rest of the season with Liverpool and leaving him not much time to be fit for the start of the World Cup on June 11.

This is his second date with the surgeon’s knife this season as he had an operation on his knee in January which sidelined him for a month.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is due to announce his 23-man squad for the finals on May 19, before his side meets up for a training camp at Las Rozas, near Madrid, five days later.

The European champions are then due to travel to Innsbruck, in Austria, for high-altitude training before travelling to South Africa in the first week of June with their first match against Switzerland on June 16.

The timing of Torres’s operation has triggered suggestions that he has put his desire to play in the World Cup before the needs of his club, who face his old club Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie in the Spanish capital on Thursday.

But he insisted that he had had no choice over the timing of the surgery.

“We exhausted all the possibilities before arriving at the final one,” he said.

“On Friday afternoon in Liverpool the scan I had cleared up the doubts and made us see that I would almost definitely have to have an operation.

“The meniscus was affected and the doctors said they had to operate.”

Torres also pointed out that he had played with the injury for 85 minutes of Liverpool’s quarter-final second leg win over Benfica.

“If I had been thinking about the World Cup and Spain I would have asked to be taken off. It wasn’t like that, I wanted to get to the final of the Europa League with my team.” — AFP