Friday, October 16, 2009

Gerrard & Torres ruled out for trip to the Stadium of Lights

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has today confirmed that neither Steven Gerrard nor Fernando Torres will be fit to travel to face Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.

Both players picked up injuries whilst on international duty that will keep them on the sidelines.

"Stevie is the same as Torres. Both have some problems with the abductor, with the groin, so it's just a question of time," the Reds gaffer told reporters at his Friday press conference.

"It could be in the next week that they will be available, it's just a question of time. I think that both will be available [shortly], but this game is too soon for both."

Benitez did have some better news about other player carrying injuries at the club though.

He added: "[Dirk] Kuyt is okay. He's training, no problems. (Sotiris] Kyrgiakos was really bad news because they were saying that it could be six months. At the end, it will be ten days, one week, so really positive news.

"[Daniel] Agger is okay, he is training. [Alberto] Aquilani has been training twice with the team, so some positive news and some bad news."

Aquilani's debut in a Liverpool shirt is eagerly anticipated, and Benitez felt that the Italian was nearing making his first team bow.

"In terms of his physical problems and the injuries he's okay," he revealed. "He's training now. It's now about his fitness and condition. It will be a question of time and each player is different, but he is training well.

"He will be working during this weekend so hopefully he'll be fitter next week. It could be too soon for two important games.

"But we'll see. At least now he can train with the team and that is the most important thing."

As for whether Gerrard's injury had been spotted soon enough by the England medical staff, the Reds boss was reluctant to point the finger in any specific direction.

"We were talking with our medical staff and we were analysing all the problems that we have with different players because we have too many. But now we cannot change the situation, so I prefer to concentrate on Sunderland and keep being positive," he said.

"I prefer to be worried about the players I have at this moment and not the players whose situation I cannot at this moment change."

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