Anfield skipper faces another long lay off.
Fears were growing that Steven Gerrard faces another lengthy injury absence after an infected ankle forced him to visit a Liverpool hospital on Sunday.
The midfielder was seen leaving hospital on crutches with his right leg in plaster up to the knee. He had fluid drained from the ankle and Liverpool hope the procedure will allow Gerrard a speedy recovery. The extent of the lay-off should be known in the next 48 hours.
The England international’s recent medical history does not bode well. He had only just returned to action following a surgery on a groin problem that also became infected and which kept him on the sidelines for six months.
Kenny Dalglish attempted to be upbeat about Gerrard’s predicament. “Steven has got an infection in his ankle,” the Liverpool manager said on Saturday. “He was in our minds for the [West Brom] game and it just flared up. We will be more accurate next week [in terms of a prognosis]. It has nothing to do with any injures before. It’s an infection. I suppose it’s like having an abscess in your mouth.”
Liverpool will be concerned how a small cut deteriorated so quickly. Gerrard travelled with the squad to the Midlands on Friday when he was already in some discomfort. The club’s medical staff had thought it would not prevent him from facing Roy Hodgson’s side but by Saturday morning it was clear he would have to return to Merseyside.
Reports today seem to suggest that the Liverpool midfielder could be out for another month with an ankle infection and this is after an injury that has led to the 31 year old making just two Premier League starts in the last eight months.
Gerrard will apparently miss both England’s friendlies with Spain and Sweden, games that Fabio Capello was using to help provide an idea of how his side may look during the Euro 2012 finals and the fact that the Anfield skipper hasn’t played for England in almost a year could severely jeopardise his chances of a spot in the national team starting eleven.
If there is a silver lining for the Merseyside club having to deal with such a prolonged period without their talismanic captain it’s the fact that Kenny Dalglish’s side appears to be coping relatively well without Steven Gerrard, not least because of the money invested in midfield alternatives over the summer.