Another back operation for Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez

Reuters| Last Updated: Aug 13, 2014, 08:48 AM IST

Montevideo: Uruguay World Cup coach Oscar Tabarez needs another back operation, the national football association (AUF) said on Tuesday.

According to media reports, under-20 coach Fabian Coito will step in as caretaker boss for two friendlies in Asia next month, against Japan in Sapporo on Sept. 5 and South Korea in Seoul four days later.

Tabarez, who also underwent surgery on his lower back in December, has a chronic arthritic condition in his upper spine.

"Tomorrow Oscar Washington Tabarez will undergo...surgery on his cervical spine. The necessity and timing were decided months ago," the AUF said in a statement.

The 67-year-old, the most long-standing coach at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, often used a walking stick during the tournament as his team, semi-finalists in South Africa in 2010, reached the last 16.

Tabarez has been in talks over a new contract that will keep him in charge until the 2018 World Cup in Russia, reported the Montevideo daily El Pais.

He has been Uruguay coach since 2006 and had a previous spell at the helm from 1988-90.