Gerrard out but Torres travels

02 November 2009 06:59
Steven Gerrard has been ruled out of Liverpool's Champions League trip to Lyon, but striker Fernando Torres will be on the plane that heads for France on Tuesday

Although Gerrard has now played just 25 minutes of five matches since he sustained a groin injury while on England duty, boss Rafael Benitez has delayed any decision on whether his captain needs an operation.

Club sources suggest that Benitez is happy that Gerrard's treatment is progressing well and that the player's injury problem is improving. If Gerrard does have an operation on his groin, it will rule him out for a month and he would be unlikely to play again until mid-December.

Liverpool are trying to avoid that eventuality, and Benitez will assess the midfielder's fitness levels again when the Anfield men return from Wednesday's match.

Torres will travel with the party, having been taken off at Fulham on Saturday after a hour to protect his adductor muscle injury.

But £20million Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani will be available for selection after recovering from a virus.

Benitez said: "Aquilani trained today (Monday) but was a little bit weak. Hopefully in two days' time he will be better.

"Gerrard won't travel to Lyon. He has no chance. He is improving but we have to wait. He has had an injection but we have to wait two or three days and see how he reacts.

Albert Riera (hamstring), Martin Kelly (ankle) and Martin Skrtel (muscle and virus), are also definitely out of the Group E match that Liverpool must win if they want to retain any serious hopes of qualifying for the last 16.

Meanwhile, the Liverpool manager will make late fitness calls on the recovering Daniel Agger (back), Glen Johnson (calf), Fabio Aurelio (calf) and David Ngog (ankle), none of whom travelled to Craven Cottage.

Source: Eurosport