Luis Suarez could be back for Uruguay's opening World Cup game against Costa Rica, Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez has claimed.
According to reports by the Mirror, the Liverpool ace is recovering from knee surgery and was apparently targeting the England game on June 19, but his international coach has now suggested that he could return even sooner.
He said, "We have great hopes of Suarez playing at the World Cup. I wouldn't assure it will be in the first match but nor are we ruling that out."
After an outstanding Premier League season, the news of the Liverpool-man’s return to fitness will prove a significant blow for Roy Hodgson’s England.
With Suarez set to return prior to the Three Lions encounter with Uruguay, he will receive the opportunity to get a full 90 minutes under his belt. This should provide more than enough time for him to hit top gear and regain his match sharpness, especially considering his recent form.
The 27-year-old is set to be a key player for the South American nation whilst playing in his home continent. He is already considered as one of the best forwards in the world and having played an integral role in his club side's second-place league finish this term, he is expected to excel in Brazil.
England's World Cup group stage game against Uruguay could decide which nation progresses to the knockout stage.
With Italy also in the group, one of the three highly-ranked sides are guaranteed to exit the competition at the first hurdle, with Costa Rica also waiting in the wings to capitalise on any mistakes.