Soccer-Barcelona's Araujo says thigh surgery 'best option'

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - LaLiga - Cadiz v FC Barcelona - Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla, Cadiz, Spain - September 10, 2022 Barcelona's Ronald Araujo during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo/File Photo

(Reuters) - Uruguay's Ronald Araujo has denied putting club before country after the Barcelona defender opted for surgery on his injured thigh less than two months before the World Cup.

Araujo picked up the injury on Friday in Uruguay's 1-0 defeat by Iran in a friendly, leaving the pitch after only five minutes.

Barca said the 23-year-old had suffered a tendon injury in his right thigh and that he would undergo surgery on Wednesday, a decision which casts doubt on his availability for the World Cup.

"I love my country and I love my national team," Araujo posted on Twitter.

"After consulting with several professionals, we decided that the best option is surgery. It's not about choosing one or the other, it's about health and getting back to 100% as soon as possible."

Uruguay will face Portugal, Ghana and South Korea in Group H at the Nov. 20-Dec. 18 World Cup in Qatar.

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk, additional reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris/Peter Rutherford)

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