Spain striker Fernando Torres says he expects to be fit to play for his country in this summer’s World Cup finals despite undergoing a knee surgery.
The 26-year-old could be out of action for up to six weeks, after deciding to have an operation on a torn cartilage in his right knee.
His decision means he will miss the last of the season games for his club, Liverpool, including their Europa Cup semifinal against his former club, Atletico Madrid.
But the Spaniard said he believes he will recover in time for his country’s opening match at the World Cup, against Switzerland, June 16.
“I have been waiting four years for this and, if all goes well, I do not anticipate missing it,” Torres said. “I have already begun recovery work today.”
Torres also denied suggestions that he was putting Spain’s interests above those of Liverpool.
“We explored all our possibilities before deciding upon an operation,” he said. “The meniscus was affected and the doctors thought surgery was best.
“The injury occurred in the second minute of the Benfica match at Anfield. I played 85 minutes with an injured knee and if I had been thinking about the World Cup, I would have asked to be substituted right there and then,” he added.