Coates has been on loan at his first club Nacional this season after recovering from a knee ligament injury he picked up in England in August and missed Uruguay's last four South American qualifiers and the playoff win over Jordan in November.
Midfielder Sebastian Eguren, a veteran the 2010 World Cup when he was playing his club football in Scandinavia, has also been handed an unexpected chance to go to the finals in Brazil where he now plays for promoted Palmeiras.
Newcomers in the squad include Southampton midfielder Gaston Ramirez, centre back Jose Maria Gimenez and his Atletico Madrid team mate Cristian Rodriguez, a creative midfielder Tabarez left out of his 2010 squad because of a suspension.
Also in line for their first finals are Lanus wing back Alejandro Silva and forwards Abel Hernandez of Palermo and Christian Stuani of Espanyol.
Uruguay, World Cup semi-finalists in South Africa four years ago, face Costa Rica, England and Italy in Group D at the tournament in Brazil which kicks off next month.
Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama), Rodrigo Munoz (Libertad)
Defenders: Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica), Diego Lugano (West Bromwich Albion), Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez (both Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Liverpool), Martin Caceres (Juventus), Jorge Fucile (Porto)
Midfielders: Alejandro Silva (Lanus), Alvaro Gonzalez (Lazio), Alvaro Pereira (Sao Paulo), Walter Gargano (Parma), Egidio Arevalo Rios (Morelia), Diego Perez (Bologna), Sebastian Eguren (Palmeiras), Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton), Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo)
Forwards: Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Edinson Cavani (Paris St Germain), Abel Hernandez (Palermo), Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka), Christian Stuani (Espanyol)
Tabarez also named three players on stand-by, who will not train with the squad: Andres Scotti (Nacional), Alvaro Fernandez (Gimnasia-La Plata), Gonzalo Castro (Real Sociedad)