Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is expected to require surgery on a long-standing shoulder issue at the end of the season.
The midfielder has been ever-present for the Merseyside club in the Premier League this term, providing nine assists and scoring nine goals.
But he has done so while playing through the pain barrier, first-team coach Mike Marsh has revealed.
“It’s looking more and more likely that he might require surgery,” he told the club’s official website.
“He has been playing with a shoulder injury for quite a while now. We’ll try to find the right time for him to get it fixed properly.
“It’s not ideal timing, it’s going to take quite a while for him to heal. It’s a funny injury – it’s pretty similar to Joe Allen.
“If it needs repairing, it needs repairing and when he’s back fit, he’s back fit. There’s not much we can do about it.”
Marsh also explained, however, that Liverpool have received fitness boosts from elsewhere in the squad this week.
He said: “It’s pretty much the same, the long-standing injuries that we’ve got are on the road back to recovery.
“One or two are a little bit closer – Fabio Borini has joined in, Raheem Sterling is now back out on the pitch and Martin Kelly is also outside. We’re back to almost a full compliment.”
On Borini, who has been out since since suffering a dislocated shoulder in Feburary, Marsh added: “It has gone really well. He’s been involved in training for the last week or so, non-contact.
“He had the all-clear from the surgeon and joined in during the last couple of days and it’s looking really good.
“He might be included on the bench at the weekend, it might be the week after. He’s coming to the time when he can be included off the bench pretty soon.
“It’s been difficult for him – he’s picked up a couple of serious injuries which kept him out for the majority of the season. We’ve hardly been able to use him so it will be like an extra player. We’re looking forward to that.”