Harry Kewell has been ruled out of Liverpool's pre-season tour of the Far East after a scan yesterday revealed ligament damage to his left ankle.
The Australian striker, for whom Liverpool paid Leeds £5m this summer, suffered the injury in a friendly against Crewe on Saturday. The Merseyside club are hopeful he will be back in action at the Amsterdam tournament, which starts on 1 August.
The Crewe game was only Kewell's second for Liverpool, but he was forced to go off just before half-time. He had taken a knock on the same ankle during the club's training camp in Switzerland, but decided to play in the midweek friendly against Cologne, only to suffer a recurrence of the trouble against the First Division side.
Salif Diao is also out of the Far East tour after an X-ray also showed ligament damage. The Senegalese midfielder could also be fit in time for the Amsterdam event. Ian Cotton, a club spokesman, said: "Early indications suggest Harry and Salif could be back in training in 10 days and have a chance of returning for the Amsterdam tournament."
Markus Babbel and Florent Sinama Pongolle have recovered from knocks and will fly out today. The French youngster Anthony Le Tallec, who played well against Crewe, may get another chance to impress on the trip to the Far East.
Another French youngster Alou Diarra, who joined from Bayern Munich a season ago and was then loaned out to Le Havre, has signed for the French side Bastia for another year on loan.