Uruguay captain Diego Lugano has been ruled out of Thursday's FIFA World Cup™ clash against England with a knee injury.
The 33-year-old, who spent last season at West Brom before being released, has been prevented from training properly by a pain in his left knee, according to a statement from the Uruguayan Football Association.
"The AUF hereby informs that Diego Lugano has been ruled out for the match to be played against England on Thursday 19 June," the statement said. "He has suffered pain in his left knee...which has intensified in recent days, preventing his proper sporting performance.
"An MRI scan has found no specific problems which would require surgical treatment. He will receive physiotherapy and his progress will be monitored."
This news will cause coach Oscar Tabarez further defensive headaches having already lost right-back Maxi Pereira through suspension after he was sent off in the 3-1 loss to Costa Rica. He does, however, expect to have striker and talisman Luis Suarez back in his selection thoughts with the Uruguay No9 having missed the Costa Rica loss through injury.
England are in an equally precarious position in Group D having been beaten by Italy by the odd goal in three. If either team should lose it would all-but seal their World Cup fate and Uruguay coach Tabarez says they will treat the match like the FIFA World Cup Final.