The Liverpool striker will be out of action for around six weeks, which not only sidelines him for the rest of the Premier League run-in, but also the Europa League semi-final against his former club Atletico Madrid.
Torres, however, is expected to be fit in time for Spain’s World Cup campaign, which gets underway against Switzerland on 16 June – a good two-and-a-half weeks after his projected return date.
Torres has scored 22 goals for the Reds this season despite being beset by knee and groin injuries. A club spokesman said: “Fernando saw a specialist in Spain earlier today and it was decided that he would need surgery on a torn cartilage in his right knee.”
The loss of Torres is a hammer blow to Liverpool’s hopes of qualifying for a Champions League place. Rafael Benitez’s side are currently eight points behind fourth-place Spurs ahead of tonight’s clash with West Ham at Anfield.