Friday, December 4, 2009

Torres won't be risked at Ewood Park

Fernando Torres has been ruled out of Liverpool’s Premier League trip to Blackburn on Saturday after failing to recover sufficiently quickly from the groin injury which has forced him to miss Rafael Benitez’ side’s last four fixtures.

The Spanish international striker returned to full training with his team-mates yesterday and took part today, but Benitez has confirmed he is not yet fit enough to be considered available, though the Liverpool manager is hoping Torres will be able to play some part against Fiorentina in the dead rubber Champions League game on Wednesday.

“Fernando will not be in the squad tomorrow,” confirmed Benitez. “He is much better than he was and he is very close and we hope to have him available against Fiorentina so at least we can give him some minutes.

“He played in a game in training this week but we have to keep an eye on him. The doctors said it would be three weeks, more or less, before he is ready and we are still within that time, so he is progressing well.

“Of course, it would be better for us to have one of the best strikers in the world available. He is a top striker who is always a threat, so it is really good news for the club that he is on his way back, but we have also been very pleased with David Ngog, who has done well while Fernando has been out.”

Torres picked up the injury in October while on international duty with Spain and has struggled for fitness ever since, featuring in just three of Liverpool’s subsequent 10 games, and failing to finish any of those he was deemed fit enough to play in.
His absence has coincided with a dreadful run of form for Benitez’s side, winning just three of those fixtures as their Champions League and Premier League campaigns have fallen apart.

Benitez is taking solace, though, that Liverpool’s fortuitous win in the Merseyside derby last Sunday could prove a turning point in a week of huge significance for the club. Steven Gerrard will make his 500th appearance for Liverpool at Ewood Park in the week in which Anfield celebrated the 50th anniversary of Bill Shankly’s arrival as manager

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