Striker Fernando Torres has denied putting country before club after having a second knee operation which ended his Liverpool season.
The Spain international had surgery in Barcelona on Sunday night to repair damaged cartilage in his right knee, ruling him out of Liverpool's remaining games this season but giving him a six week recovery period in which to prove his fitness for the World Cup. But Torres said safeguarding his international place was not the overriding factor in the decision to operate again.
"It's not true. We exhausted all the possibilities before arriving at the final one," said the 26-year-old.
"There were three options. One was that the meniscus was okay, the second was that the problem was not clear and the third that the meniscus was affected.
"On Friday afternoon in Liverpool the scan I had cleared up the doubts and made us see that I would almost definitely have to have an operation. The meniscus was affected and the doctors said they had to operate.
"What's more, the injury happened in the second minute of the game (Europa League quarter-final second leg) against Benfica at Anfield and I played injured for 85 minutes.
"If I had been thinking about the World Cup and Spain I would have asked for a change (substitution).
"It wasn't like that, I wanted to get to the final of the Europa League with my team."
The current restrictions on air travel because of the volcanic ash cloud meant Torres' planned return to Barcelona on Thursday to see specialist Dr Ramon Cugat was delayed until Saturday. When another flight was cancelled Torres decided to make the arduous road and rail trip with an overnight stop just outside Paris.
"The trip was an adventure. I arrived exhausted at 8.30 on Sunday evening and barely had time to have a shower at the hotel before going to the clinic where Dr Cugat was waiting for me," he said. "Three hours after I had the meniscus operation."
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