Torres: Operation was tough
Fernando Torres (AP)
Cape Town - Fernando Torres says having an ankle operation just two months before the Soccer World Cup was an agonising decision, but the Liverpool star warns he is getting better by the day.
The striker underwent surgery on a torn cartilage in his right knee in April which sidelined him for around six weeks, forcing him to miss the end of the English Premier League season while impacting his World Cup build-up.
It was his second date with the surgeon's knife of the season after having an operation on his knee in January which sidelined him for a month.
While his Spanish strike partner David Villa has bagged three goals so far in South Africa, Torres is still struggling to regain his touch.
He said it was a tough decision to have the operation, but unavoidable.
"I couldn't make up my mind for a whole week. I would have preferred not to have the operation, but in the end I had no option," he told Fifa.com.
"Playing again after an operation is always hard, especially as it was only two months ago. It’s hard to get your fitness back.
"But I'm feeling better bit by bit and everything’s coming more naturally. We worked hard to make sure I made it here, but now I’m just focusing on helping the team as much as I can."
Villa on Monday backed Torres to start delivering World Cup goals, starting against Portugal in their round of 16 clash later on Tuesday, and praised his contribution to the national team.
"I haven't really heard any criticism regarding Fernando and I don't think he has been lacklustre," said Villa when asked to comment on Torres' efforts so far.
"He hasn't scored a goal but he has done spectacular work. He is very happy in the national squad and he has made enormous efforts to help this team.
"I think his performances have been very good, but forwards are always measured by the goals they score and I am convinced if he continues working as he has he'll score.
"Regardless, he is always going to contribute positively to this side."
The 26-year-old Torres was substituted after 60 minutes against Chile on Friday as a precaution after he felt a muscle twinge at half-time.
But he is expected to be fit to line-up alongside Villa against Portugal.