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Benitez still unsure over pair

07 Nov 2009 - 12:16:14

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez will give late fitness tests to Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard before deciding whether either of his star players will be fit enough to face Birmingham City on Monday night.

Skipper Gerrard has missed the last four games with a long-running groin problem which may require surgery.

Meanwhile, Torres is struggling with a hernia problem which forced him to return to Spain in midweek for a second opinion amid reports of an impending operation.

Benitez is refusing to rule out the need for surgery for either player, but has suggested that both have outside chances of featuring against the Blues at Anfield.

"We are improving. We have some players doing light training again. At least they are training and hopefully today they will be a bit better," he said.

"We will see if they can be available. There is a big difference between players being fit and whether they can be available.

"It is something we have to analyse. For example, yesterday Gerrard was training with the physios on his day off. He is improving. We don't know if he will be fit. We don't know if he will be available.

"We will have to analyse the situation. He was injured before and has now been 15 days without training with the team.

"Can he play or can he be on the bench? At this moment we do not know."

Asked about Torres, the Spaniard added: "He has gone to Spain to see a specialist. We have also been in contact with our medical staff. We know that he is a little bit better than he was before.

"He still has some problems and will be working with the physios. We don't know if he can face Birmingham. He can train, but we will have to manage the situation. After all this we will make a decision."


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