Striker Luis Suarez will be fit for Uruguay’s crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Paraguay in Asuncion on Tuesday after overcoming injury concerns, according to chief coach Oscar Tabarez.
Suarez was a surprise starter for Uruguay in their goalless draw with Argentina on Tuesday, having not played since injuring his right knee while playing for Barcelona on August 16, reports Xinhua news agency.
However the 30-year-old sent a scare through the Uruguay camp by limping off 10 minutes from the end after a clash with Nicolas Otamendi.
“He might not be 100 per cent but he is a lot better than he was [after the match against Argentina],” Tabarez told a news conference on Sunday.
Uruguay are currently third in the 10-team South American zone standings, three points ahead of seventh-placed Paraguay, with three matches remaining.
The top four teams at the end of the qualifying tournament will advance directly to next year’s World Cup while the fifth-ranked side will earn a playoff spot.
Tabarez said Paraguay presented a stern challenge for his team after their shock 3-0 victory over Chile in Santiago on Thursday.
“It’s a team that was on the brink of elimination and has been able to get a lot close to that fifth spot,” Tabarez said.
“Paraguay’s confidence is sky high, but we have to worry about ourselves because we need these three points.”