Newcastle defender Paul Dummett was the subject of an online death threat today after Uruguay fans blamed him for the injury that has dealt Luis Suarez a World Cup scare.
The Uruguay Football Association announced that 27-year-old Suarez had undergone minor knee surgery, suggesting he damaged the meniscus in Liverpool’s final match of the season against Newcastle.
Suarez’s arthroscopic surgery lasted about 30 minutes and he is likely to be sidelined for at least a couple of weeks but Uruguay officials remain confident he will be fit for the World Cup. Uruguay’s first match is against Costa Rica on June 15 before they face England in Sao Paolo on June 19.
The assurances were not enough to prevent a furious reaction from several Uruguay supporters on Twitter, including menacing warnings for 22-year-old full-back Dummett, who collided with Suarez towards the end of Liverpool’s victory at Anfield.
Dummett was sent off after catching Suarez in what looked an accidental collision, and his red card was later rescinded.
One Twitter user, Federico Gonzalez, posting on @FicoGonzalez13, wrote: “Hi @PaulDummett, from Uruguay we hope someday u come here to have a nice time w/ friends. We have things for you, like a bullet in the head.”
There had been no report of an injury for Suarez as a result of the challenge, but he complained of pains at the start of Uruguay’s training camp and was sent for an MRI scan.
“Yesterday, Wednesday 21st of May, Luis Suarez suffered an intense pain in his left knee after an undergoing a normal warm-up,” said a statement from the Uruguay Football Association (AUF).
“He had an MRI scan which confirmed a partial lesion of the external meniscus of his left knee.
“On Thursday morning, he underwent an arthroscopic partial resection of his meniscus in the Medica Uruguaya hospital (Montevideo).
“There was no evidence of any further damage to the knee.
“His participation in the World Cup in Brazil has not been ruled out.
“It is worth noting the player received a blunt trauma to his left knee in the final game of the Premier League season against Liverpool on Sunday 11.5.14 which provoked a pain that subsided due to rest at the end of the season.”
Uruguay FA president Wilmar Valdez suggested if Suarez’s recovery went to plan he could return to training in just over a fortnight.
“We know the surgery was a success and that the injury is not serious. We have to wait and see how he recovers,” he told Uruguayan newspaper La Ovacion.
“We had very little time to react and without knowing the extent of the injury, we didn’t want to raise the alarm to the public.
“These are injuries that, considering Suarez’s fitness and if the recovery is good, will not take long for him to return to play.
“We have to calculate if he will arrive for the first, second or third (group game at the World Cup).
“We know that normally the recovery period, if all goes well, is around 15 days to return to training.
“We all know what Luis represents to the national team and more so, considering the great form he was in.
“Considering how valuable he is to the national team, it is a big concern for us.”
Suarez, who was named the Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ Association player of the year after scoring 31 league goals, is his country’s all-time leading scorer with 39 in 77 appearances.
Suarez is convinced he can be fit in time for the tournament.
He told La Ovacion: “Thank you all for the support. I’ll work quietly and very hard in the coming days to be 100 per cent and help my team-mates.”
Former Wales Under-21 player Dummett is hoping Suarez recovers in time to feature at the World Cup, and insists there was no intention to hurt behind his tackle.
The ex-St Mirren loan star told The Mirror: “The challenge was inadvertent. I hit him and the ball with my left foot and he went down under the challenge.
“I hope he makes the World Cup because he is one of the best players in the world so he should be there.
“Having said that, I injured my meniscus three years ago and I was out for three months, so it will depend on the injury and exactly where it is on the knee.”