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Liverpool duo Gerrard and Torres ruled out in double blow for Benitez
Published : 16 Oct 2009 14:24:01
Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres are both ruled out of Liverpool's trip to Sunderland on Saturday with injuries picked up on international duty. Liverpool skipper Gerrard suffered a groin injury during England's World Cup defeat to Ukraine last weekend, and limped out of training two days later. Torres also suffered a groin injury with Spain, and was an unused substitute for their final group match on Wednesday. But both have been unable to train with the Anfield club since returning from international duty, and neither will be involved at the Stadium of Light. Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez had been bracing himself for bad news today, and he confirmed: "Neither player will be involved at Sunderland. 'They are both at roughly the same stage of their recovery, they are close, but they will not be ready for this match.' Liverpool face Lyon at home in the Champions League on Tuesday, and then Manchester United visit Anfield next weekend. Benitez added: 'We are hoping both players are ready for the Champions League game. 'These international breaks are always difficult for club managers, you just have to hope your players come back safely.' Benitez refused to criticise the England medical team for allowing Gerrard to risk training earlier in the week. But privately Liverpool are disappointed that the player was not sent home as soon as he was injured, in the same way that England released Wayne Rooney to return to Old Trafford. Benitez also expects now to lose Greek international Sotirios Kyrgiakos with a serious knee injury, also suffered on international duty, for several months. Dirk Kuyt, who suffered an ankle injury while playing for Holland in Australia last weekend, is fit to play at the Stadium of Light, where he will probably lead the attack in place of Torres, with Andriy Voronin also coming into contention. Benitez is also waiting for the return of Javier Mascherano, Lucas and Emiliano Insua, the South Americans all having been away on international duty. The trio are not expected back until Friday evening.