Glen Johnson has dealt Liverpool a blow with news that the England international faces up to 10 weeks on the sidelines having picked up an ankle injury.
Johnson limped out of the 1-0 victory over Manchester United on September 1, having picked up the injury in the 78th minute after being involved in a collision with team-mate Lucas Leiva and United defender Patrice Evra.
The Frenchman appeared to take the brunt of the impact, but Johnson hobbled away and was replaced by manager Brendan Rodgers, having later been pictured leaving Anfield on crutches.
The Reds had hoped for good news once the injury had been assessed, but it now appears that he will miss key Premier League games against Arsenal and Everton in November, as well as the Capital One Cup clash with United.
Physios were made to wait for detailed results of the scan after Johnson’s ankle had swollen so much that they were unable to get an accurate prognosis, but it now seems that he will be out till at least the end of November.
The timescale also means that he will miss England’s World Cup qualifiers against Montengro and Poland in October, having already missed Friday’s 4-0 victory over Moldova and tonight’s crucial match with Ukraine.
Rodgers already has concerns over striker Daniel Sturridge’s fitness, whose fine start to the season in which he has scored five goals in four games is in danger of becoming unhinged after he picked up a thigh injury, ruling him out of England’s World Cup qualifiers and putting him in doubt for the Reds’ match against Swansea on Monday night.
With Johnson out, Andre Wisdom is likely to deputise at right-back, although the 20-year-old was sent-off last night during England’s Under-21 1-1 draw with their Finnish counterparts.
The youngster has made 21 appearances for Liverpool in his short professional career, but he looks likely to feature for a prolonged period while Johnson recovers. Rodgers also has Martin Kelly and John Flanagan who can cover at full-back, although Wisdom was his preferred choice last season when Johnson was unavailable.
England boss Roy Hodgson has already bemoaned his bad luck in terms of player availability, with both Johnson and Sturridge joined on the sidelines by Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll, Steven Caulker and Danny Welbeck, who is suspended after picking up a yellow card in Friday's encounter.