World Cup: Steven Gerrard does not know whether Luis Suarez will be available for Uruguay
Last Updated: 29/05/14 10:50pm
England's Steven Gerrard does not know whether Luis Suarez will be available for the World Cup - but is confident of beating Uruguay with or without his Liverpool team-mate leading the line.
The images of the 27-year-old being carted around in a wheelchair after undergoing keyhole surgery on his knee last week have inevitably led to questions over his participation in Brazil this summer.
Uruguay's team doctor remains cautiously optimistic about Suarez making the tournament, while Liverpool team-mates Jordan Henderson and Glen Johnson have done some investigative work as to the severity of the injury.
Both players have contacted the striker to see whether he will be fit for the Group D clash on June 19, although Gerrard has no such concerns about the in-form Liverpool striker.
"I don't know whether he is going to be available," the England captain said. "I think the only people that know whether he is going to be available is Luis himself and the physio and doctors in their team.
"For me, it is not very important, it is something we can't control and is not my main focus. My main focus is to make sure all the England players are fit and available to play.
"Going into that game we're very confident that we can get the right result whether Luis is available or not."
England take on Uruguay in their second Group D match in Sao Paulo, five days after kicking off their campaign against Italy in Manaus, deep in the heart of the Amazon.
The Three Lions have three friendly matches in preparation for the tournament, taking on Ecuador and Honduras in Miami after their only match on homesoil against Peru on Friday.
Gerrard and his Liverpool team-mates will likely have a major say on whether England succeed in Brazil this summer.
The skipper is joined by four other Reds in the 23-man squad after a fine season in which the swashbuckling style of Brendan Rodgers' side has impressed onlookers, including Paul Scholes.
The former Manchester United and England midfielder believes Roy Hodgson's side must adopt Liverpool's style and that the Reds quintet should start against Italy.
"That makes me feel really proud, being a Liverpool man myself," Gerrard said. "Paul Scholes knows his football and for him to say he was really happy to watch Liverpool play that way is really good for me and the rest of the Liverpool players.
"But we're England now and we're going to play the England way, which is whatever Roy Hodgson, Gary Neville and Ray Lewington want us to do.
"The players will carry out the instructions given by them."
Gerrard, however, disagreed with Scholes' suggestion that Wayne Rooney may be past his best.
I believe in Wayne Rooney. He's still a young man and of course I don't think he's past his best. I've selected him in a 23-man squad that I'm very proud of.
In a frank blog, Scholes claimed his former Manchester United and England team-mate had been in decline for the last two years.
"Wayne's peak may have been a lot younger than we'd expect of footballers traditionally," Scholes wrote. "Age 28 or 29 has been the normal peak. With Wayne, it could have been when he scored 27 league goals in 2011-2012 when he was 26."
Gerrard said: "Paul Scholes is wrong. I think he's been Manchester United's best player at home and in Europe.
"He has been in terrific form. I can only judge from my opinion but from what I've seen from his performances in the United team, his form has been really positive."
Hodgson was equally dismissive of Scholes' comments.
The England manager gave his full backing to the United striker, who may well take over from Gerrard as Hodgson's skipper if the midfielder retires from international football after the World Cup.
"I believe in Wayne Rooney," Hodgson said. "He's still a young man and of course I don't think he's past his best.
"I've selected him in a 23-man squad that I'm very proud of.
"The real opinions that are going to count are from the staff and the players. They are the ones we can control. We can't control opinions from the outside but they are the opinions that matter, ours.
"Hopefully we will get our decisions right and have a good tournament."