Gerrard joins Johnson and Aquilani on sick list

Liverpool captain could require surgery next week on persistent groin injury

Steven Gerrard may have to undergo surgery next week to repair an injury to his groin, Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez revealed yesterday.

Gerrard misses today's trip to Fulham with the strain he picked up on international duty with England in Ukraine almost three weeks ago. The Liverpool captain has managed only 25 minutes of action since then, in last week's 2-1 defeat in the Champions League to Lyon at Anfield, when he aggravated the injury and limped off.

Benitez yesterday admitted that Gerrard will require surgery next week if the injury fails to respond to physiotherapy, which could keep him sidelined for a further three weeks.

Asked if Gerrard would need an operation, Benitez said: "I'm not sure. He's working with the physios. They are working very hard with him. Now we have to be careful because we don't want to take any risks.

"We are working with him and we will see how he progresses. If he cannot improve in a few days we will analyse the situation. We have to analyse if he has pain or not and talk with the doctor and physios every day.

"It's a difficult situation. He has a pain in his groin. We are working with him and he has no power. It's not because of the muscle, it's because of the pain in the muscle so they are working there. If he's not doing well next week, we have to decide [on an operation]."

Gerrard's slow recovery has left Liverpool's medical staff puzzled and concerned. It is the third time he has suffered with a groin strain this year, having missed games in April and August.

Benitez admitted the lack of recovery has been a major concern. "He's not progressing as we were expecting. He's not doing better so it's the same situation as before. We thought he could be ready for the last game, but it's the same."

The Liverpool manager revealed Gerrard is struggling to cope with the frustration of not being able to perform, while adding it is the 29-year-old's style of play that makes him susceptible to this kind of strain.

"He's worried. He's a little bit low because he thought he could be better. He still has the same problem," Benitez said. "The kind of player he is, he's very powerful, strong. He has energy and power. For Stevie, being very powerful, it's more difficult for him to be always right. He cannot kick long balls properly. It's not much but it's enough that he cannot play comfortably."

Benitez refused to blame England manager Fabio Capello for the injury. "When a player is injured it doesn't matter afterwards," he said. "It does not matter if it's his problem, our problem or England's problem. At the end of the day, he went to play with them, he got injured, we brought him back, we tried to put him on the pitch, but after 25 minutes he couldn't. Now we have a problem and we have to find solutions."

Liverpool, who trail leaders Chelsea by six points in the Premier League, will also travel to Fulham without England defender Glen Johnson, whose torn calf muscle kept him out of the midweek Carling Cup defeat at Arsenal. Benitez said: "We are really disappointed because he was training and the day before the Arsenal game he felt something and he couldn't play against them. Maybe he will be out for four or five days."

Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani, who made his first-team debut midweek at Arsenal, has picked up a virus and cannot play, while Fernando Torres is expected to start against Fulham. Liverpool then travel to Lyon on Wednesday after two defeats in their first three Champions League games.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms