Luis Suárez won’t start Uruguay’s opening match against Costa Rica

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Uruguay begin their World Cup matches today, but they’ll do it without star player Luis Suárez. The forward may come on as a substitute, but when Óscar Tabárez named his starting lineup at his pre-match press conference, Suárez was not included.

The Liverpool man sustained an injury in the final match of the Premier League season, subsequently requiring surgery on his knee. Although Suárez trained with his teammates on Thursday, it appears Tabárez does not want to risk him. The Uruguay manager said:

We don’t want to jump the gun on Luis and we have prepared this match without counting on him. It would be wonderful to have him in top form but we have to be very careful. He is recovering very well, we are delighted about that but we have to manage things very carefully indeed.

Instead, it will be Diego Forlán who partners up top with Edinson Cavani. Forlán scored five goals at the 2010 World Cup, coming in as joint-top scorer and receiving the Golden Ball, the award for the tournament’s best player.

But Forlán is now 35 years old, playing his club football for Cerezo Osaka in Japan. And while Cavani won Italy’s Golden Boot two seasons ago, his first year at Paris Saint-Germain proved to be a disappointment to many. In other words, Uruguay were really expecting Suárez to carry the torch.

Fortunately for la celeste, their first match pits them against Costa Rica, one of the weakest sides in the tournament. Los Ticos are missing their own star in Álvaro Saborío, who broke his foot shortly before the World Cup was set to begin.

But if England and Italy were hoping to be let off easy, that’s not likely to be the case. Tabárez insists Suárez will be available for the next game, against England.