May 5 2010 by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
FERNANDO TORRES fears World Cup heartache after it was revealed the striker may not be fit for the start of next month’s finals in South Africa.
The Liverpool striker is recovering from a second operation in three months to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Torres, who went under the knife more than a fortnight ago, was initially expected to be out for up to six weeks, leaving him a race against time to be available for Spain’s opening World Cup group game against Switzerland on June 16.
But with Liverpool reluctant to jeopardise his fitness for the start of the season, Peter Brukner, the club’s new Head of Sports Medicine and Sports Science, accepts a balance has to be struck as the player is desperate to feature in South Africa.
“He’s doing well,” said Bruckner. “He’s certainly tremendously committed to his rehab, as are the staff here. If anyone can recover from an injury, he can.
“You can’t be absolutely certain of anything but at this stage, if he continues to progress the way he is, he should be fit to play at some stage during the World Cup.
“Whether he’ll be fit for the first game or not is uncertain. We’re anxious not to hurry him along too much because we want the long-term benefit, but we’re aware he’s got the short-term goal of playing in the World Cup.
“Hopefully we can get a compromise between those two where he plays in the World Cup and he’s fit and well for Liverpool next season.”
Torres underwent initial surgery in January but aggravated the problem during the Europa League win against Benfica last month.
“He had his initial surgery a few months ago and made a reasonably good recovery from that,” added Brukner.
“But then in the first few minutes of the Benfica game here at Anfield, he hyper-extended his knee and re-injured it.
“He still managed to score a few goals, so even on one leg he’s not too bad, is he?
“We felt that even with a period of rest it wasn’t going to heal by itself and it needed another telescopic surgery just to trim the area that’s been torn.
“That would enable him to fully recover and play, not just in the World Cup but for many years to come for Liverpool.”