Saturday, February 22, 2020

Benitez puts duo’s surgery on hold

SoccerNews in English Premier League 5 Nov 2009

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Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has admitted star duo Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard may need surgery to solve the injury problems which have plagued both of their season, so far.

Torres looked a long way from match fitness as Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw in Lyon on Wednesday night which takes their hopes of progress to the Champions League last 16 out of their hands, and Benitez admitted the player is still feeling pain from his groin-related injury.

And Gerrard missed the match entirely with a similar problem.

However, surgery will be a last resort for a side in need of a turnaround in fortunes both at home and in Europe, starting against Birmingham on Monday night.

Benitez, who batted away further questions on his own future on Wednesday night, said: “Fernando played with pain, and after the game he still had the same problems that have troubled him for a few weeks.

“He wants to wait, rather than have an operation. He wants to work with the physios to try to solve his problems, but still he has pain.

“He told me he needed to keep stopping during the game because of the pain. Whether there is the need for him or Steven to have an operation is a decision we will probably not take straight away.

“We must see how they can improve, and by how much. Then we will decide about any possible operation.”

Lisandro Lopez’s late goal for Lyon made it another miserable night for the Reds, who will be out if Fiorentina beat Lyon on matchday five.

But Benitez drew great encouragement from the performance, with his side creating numerous chances before Ryan Babel’s thunderbolt appeared to have won the game.

And the Spaniards only concern now remains, is how the team close games out in future.

“We have to improve when we are leading near the end of the game. We must start showing more experience in such situations,” the Spanish boss said.

“But nobody let the club down, that was the positive outcome from the draw in Lyon.

“We had so many problems with injured players. But you cannot complain about the performance because the team did everything they could to secure the victory.

“The performance was good and the fans who were in the stadium with us could see that. They were singing at the end and after the whistle because they knew they had seen everyone give everything.”

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