Liverpool search for Agger cure

Liverpool will work feverishly during the international break to find a solution to Daniel Agger's on-going back problem.

The Denmark international played in last week's Champions League 1-1 draw in Lyon, and also in Monday's stalemate with Birmingham.

But boss Rafael Benitez revealed his concerns about the player's injury problem that has dogged him all season and needed an operation during the summer.

After the 2-2 draw with Birmingham, Benitez talked of the persistent problems facing Fernando Torres and new hamstring injuries for Albert Riera and Yossi Benayoun, but it was the worrying performance of Agger that seemed to concern him most.

He said: "Daniel has more problems with his back, it is a concern for us."

So much so that Agger has withdrawn from Denmark's friendlies during the international break against South Korea and the USA - his country having already qualified for the World Cup finals.

Benitez's concerns for Agger are explained because he is desperately needed for the next two Barclays Premier League matches against Manchester City and Everton.

Fellow defender Jamie Carragher will be completing his three-match suspension and misses both of those key matches.

If Agger is not fit, Benitez has only a fledgling partnership of Martin Skrtel and Sotirios Kyrgiakos in central defence for those two vital games.

The pairing looked anything but secure in their one game together, the Carling Cup defeat at Arsenal.

Benitez said: "We thought that Agger would be OK to play against Birmingham, but you could see he was not right, his back was giving him problems again."

Liverpool will spend the international break nursing Torres and Steven Gerrard back to fitness as they struggle with groin problems.

Benitez would not speculate on whether Torres will be fit to face Manchester City on November 21, suggesting: "He is having treatment that could keep him out for two or three weeks.

"Gerrard seems OK, we will be careful with him."

Both players were omitted from the Spain and England national squads, respectively, for weekend internationals.

Glen Johnson will also look to recover fitness after he yesterday pulled out of England's squad to face Brazil.

That will aid Benitez's cause with summer signing Alberto Aquilani finally looking set for an extended run in the side after making his Anfield debut as a second-half substitute against the Blues.

Benitez said: "The plus points are that Johnson was back and playing well, while Aquilani finally got a chance to play at Anfield.

"It was a difficult time for him to come on, with us battling for the third goal against a packed defence.

"There were negatives with new injuries, but the positives are that we had two players making an impact."

Javier Mascherano has been called up for Argentina's friendly with Spain on Saturday, but there is no place in Diego Maradona's squad for Emiliano Insua.

PROMOTED VIDEO
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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there