Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez confirmed on Saturday that the team’s star striker, Luis Suarez, would be unavailable in their opening match against Mexico on Sunday night.
Despite Uruguay being ranked ninth in the latest FIFA world rankings, they were dealt a daunting task with their group at the Copa America Centenario. Not only were they placed alongside the CONCACAF Gold Cup champions, Mexico, but the South Americans will also have to play Jamaica and Venezuela in two very difficult matches.
Things only got tougher for Uruguay on Friday, when head coach Oscar Tabarez confirmed that the team will be without Barcelona star, Luis Suarez. The controversial striker suffered a right hamstring injury while playing for his club in the Copa del Rey final. Barcelona ultimately beat Sevilla to claim the Spanish double, but Suarez may be forced to miss this summer’s festivities.
“Luis Suarez is ruled out,” said Tabarez in a pre-game press conference on Saturday night, via Goal. “He is a footballer that always surprises us with his recovery, but he is not ready yet.”
Uruguay fans will be hoping to have the 29-year-old back in time for their second match of the competition against Venezuela, but at this point it is looking doubtful.
“It’s only been 14 days since his injury,” Tabarez continued. “We will consider him when he demonstrates that he is at 100 percent.”
Uruguay open the tournament on Sunday night against Mexico at the University of Phoenix Stadium, in Glendale, Arizona. The match has easily been one of the most anticipated contests of the group stage, and will kick off tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET