Saturday, 17 October 2009

Gerrard and Torres sidelined for Sunderland clash

Todays Premiership clash with Sunderland could prove a tougher test then first thought, now that news has emerged that both Liverpool's influential captain Steven Gerrard and Spanish marvel Fernando Torres have been sidelined for the match at Wearside.

Both players sustained injuries whilst on international duty in midweek. Gerrard missed England's win over Belarus on Wednesday after picking up a groin injury in the defeat by Ukraine. Torres suffered from an adductor problem in Spain's win over Armenia last weekend and he was rested for the midweek win over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The duo are not the only casualties, as new signing Sotirios Kyrgiakos suffered a knee injury during Greece's 2-1 win over Luxembourg. Early indications suggested the former Rangers man may have sustained cruciate ligament damage, however a scan confirmed this not to be the case.

As if to compound Benitez's selection problems further, Javier Mascherano and Emiliano Insua, only arrived back on Merseyside after a fifteen hour flight from Buenos Aires yesterday.

Liverpool manager has increasingly become frustrated by his players sustaining injuries whilst away on international duty:

"Both Steven and Fernando still have some problems," Benitez confirmed during his pre match press conference yesterday.

"They will need more time and won't be available this weekend. I think they could be available for next week," reports Sky Sports.

"We were talking with our medical staff and analysing all the problems, but now we can't change the situation and would prefer to concentrate on Sunderland," he said.

"I need to worry about the players I have rather than those I don't."

Dirk Kuyt had also suffered from an ankle problem in midweek but Benitez confirmed it was not an issue and the Dutch international is likely to lead the forward line.

"Kuyt is okay. He was training normally with the team and will be available," added Benitez.

"With Kyrgiakos we were really worried because people were talking about maybe six months, but after the scan we think one week to ten days. That's very positive," he said.

The Reds boss also confirmed summer signing Alberto Aquilani is now training with the first team.

"His physical problems, he is okay and now he has to work on his condition and so hopefully he will be fitter next week," he said.

"But he is now training with the first team and that is the most important thing."

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