Former Uruguay striker Silva has leg amputated

September 25, 2006

MONTEVIDEO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Former Uruguay striker Dario Silva has had his lower right leg amputated following a car crash, a hospital director said on Monday.

Silva suffered an exposed fracture of the leg after the accident on Montevideo's main seafront avenue on Sunday morning, when his pick-up truck collided with a lamp-post.

"There was no other solution other than to amputate below the knee," said Mario Cancela, head of the intensive care unit at the private hospital where Silva is being treated.

"He's stable, he's lucid and he's told me how the accident happened," added Cancela. "This has encouraged us because from an encephalic point of view, it means he should make an almost complete recovery."

Cancela said that Silva, who was in an induced coma until Monday morning, was not yet aware of the amputation.

Silva played for Portsmouth last year and was out of contract.

The 33-year-old striker began his career with local side Defensor Sporting and then joined more fashionable Penarol.

He moved to Europe in 1995 to play for Italy's Cagliari and has since played for Espanyol, Malaga and Sevilla in Spain as well as Portsmouth.

Silva made 49 appearances for Uruguay between 1995 and 2005, scoring 14 goals, and played at the 2002 World Cup, when Uruguay were knocked out in the first round.

His last international appearance was in the World Cup qualifying playoff at home to Australia last year.