Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is confident he will be fully fit for the start of pre-season after his campaign was prematurely ended by an injury to his left shoulder.
The England midfielder will miss the final two matches of the season as he requires an operation to rectify a problem which has troubled him for a while. It has not, however, prevented him from starting all 36 Premier League matches so far - in fact he has missed only 17 minutes of the league season after being forced off against Newcastle with some shoulder discomfort.
"It's disappointing but to be honest, (playing every league game) is not a very important personal achievement - what is more important is that I am fit and available for the team," he told LFC TV.
"Between the medical staff and myself we've decided the best decision is to get it done now so I am ready for pre-season training.
"I'm very disappointed to miss the last two games, but it's a stage now where it's probably better if another player plays because he'll be able to offer more because the shoulder is quite sore."
Gerrard has played with the problem for more than three months but the problem has worsened in recent weeks.
"I first got the injury against Oldham in the FA Cup when I came on as a sub and I've since aggravated it on numerous occasions," he added.
"The medical team and staff have been brilliant - they've helped me a lot and put a lot of hard work into getting me out there onto the pitch."
Meanwhile, winger Stewart Downing has expressed his determination to stay at the club - although he admits manager Brendan Rodgers will have the final say.
"There have been some positive signs and personally I'd like to stay but that is the manager's decision," he said.