Torres a doubt for Merseyside derby after groin strain

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The Independent Football

Fernando Torres has suffered the latest of a series of adductor muscle strains which have plagued him for the past three years, leaving him a doubt for Liverpool’s critical Goodison derby on Sunday week.

A scan revealed a strain, rather than a tear, had forced him to leave the field after 10 minutes against Blackpool on Sunday. It means that the Spain coach, Vicente del Bosque, has, much to Liverpool’s relief, left the player out of his squad for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Lithuania and Scotland.

That means two weeks’ rest for the player. The Liverpool manager, Roy Hodgson, had asked Del Bosque to consider resting Torres before the last round of international matches, but had been refused. The injury recalls the travails the striker went through in the autumn of 2007 and which recurred last year. Torres strained an adductor with Spain three years ago and the problem flared up back at his club. Another injury sustained with Spain last year was thought to be an adductor strain but proved to be an inguinal hernia, which ultimately needed surgery.

“He will have intensive treatment over the next couple of weeks, but it’s too early to say if he will be fit for the Everton game,” Peter Brukner, Liverpool’s head of sports science, said last night.