Thursday, November 12, 2009

More injury blows for The Reds

Liverpool's chronic fitness problems have continued with the news that both Albert Riera and Yossi Benayoun will be sidelined for up to a month due to muscle injuries.

Both players sustained their injuries in Monday night's 2-2 draw with Birmingham City at Anfield - a game that ensured Liverpool have won only once in their past nine games in all competitions.

Injuries have severely hampered Rafael Benitez's attempts to mount a title challenge and, with Fernando Torres out for three weeks due to a hernia problem, the loss of two more key players is another harmful setback.

Benayoun and Riera will miss the upcoming Premier League games against possible top-four rivals Manchester City and neighbours Everton, while their participation in the potentially-crucial final Champions League group fixture against Fiorentina is also in doubt.

"Both Yossi Benayoun and Albert Riera have muscle problems and will be out for three to four weeks," Benitez told the club's official website. "It depends on each player, but for Riera this is the second time with this injury.

"We will have to wait and see how they progress but hopefully in three weeks they could be available. We are disappointed because there are too many things at the moment that we can't change. Both players are wingers as well and for them to be out at the same time is bad news for us.

"Daniel Agger felt something in his back after the Birmingham game and didn't go with Denmark after we spoke with their doctor and manager. I think he could be back training again in a few days.

"Glen Johnson's was a strange situation because he finished the game on Monday and then travelled to London to be with England. He felt something in his hamstring and came back to us for a scan. Hopefully it's not too serious and he could be available again in a week.

"With Fernando Torres we are talking about two or three weeks of treatment and working with the physios. I was talking with him this morning and he is doing well. Hopefully he can be running in a few days and we will see how he progresses.

"It was good to have Steven Gerrard back on Monday night. He is feeling okay and should be training fully with the other players we have here in a few days."

Meanwhile, Liverpool defender Daniel Ayala has signed a new contract which ties him to the club until 2012.

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