Estimated read time: Less than a minute
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Luis Suarez has defended himself from criticism for undergoing knee surgery that prevented him from playing for Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.
The Uruguayan released a statement Sunday saying he had no option despite the timing of the final, which Barcelona lost 2-1 to Valencia on Saturday.
Suarez said he had to undergo surgery "against my will" after rupturing his meniscus against Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals.
He said the surgery earlier this month had nothing to do with a cartilage issue that he had been nursing since the beginning of the season.
Barcelona won the Spanish league but finished the season on a low after being eliminated by Liverpool in the Champions League and losing the Copa final to Valencia.
Suarez scored 25 goals in 49 matches this season, second only to Lionel Messi on the scoring charts for Barcelona.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP\_Sports
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.