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Liverpool captain Gerrard to undergo groin surgery

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Aug 2008

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Steven Gerrard will on Thursday undergo surgery on a groin problem that will keep the Liverpool captain out for ten to fifteen days.

Gerrard played the full game in his side’s extra-time Champions League qualifying round victory over Standard Liege on Wednesday night despite having been troubled by the injury for some time.

Manager Rafael Benitez revealed after the game – settled by Dirk Kuyt’s volley three minutes from time – that the midfielder had been told he needed the operation before the clash but opted to play despite being in pain.

Benitez said: “Gerrard will have an operation tomorrow on a groin problem. We knew this would happen. He had a problem and now he will have an operation and he will be out for 10 or 15 days. It’s not a big problem but he had pain and it was difficult.

“The injury wasn’t affected by the period of extra-time. When he went away with England we knew he had a problem, and we knew he had a problem before the first leg in Belgium two weeks ago. Yesterday he spoke to the doctor about the situation and he said ‘okay, I’ll play with pain and after have the operation’.

“He was playing with pain before and he kept going today because he knew he was going to see the surgeon tomorrow. It’s not serious, it’s a minor operation, but we needed to do it.”

Benitez admitted his side had struggled to overcome the Belgian champions who continued where they had left off in the scoreless first leg tie.

But the Spaniard insisted he could see signs of improvement in his side and believes they will get stronger as the opening weeks of the season progress.

He added: “We knew it would be difficult because they played well in the first game and we had to work really hard until the end. For me the most positive thing is we played a little bit better against a good team who are sharp now. We scored right at the end that showed the team was working really hard.

“When you play these kind of games, the other team is playing and training just thinking about this game. But we have been bringing in players from things like the Olympic games and now we can start working as a group.

“For us to have the possibility to play for the chance of winning trophies it’s amazing and really important. And also in terms of money it’s the same. If you play at this level you will have more options of winning trophies and of getting money.”

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