Saturday's match against Fulham saw a very unusual thing happen for Liverpool when Brendan Rodgers substituted Steven Gerrard for only the third time ever since the manager arrived at the club last season, and Gerrard's 66th minute removal was the earliest the midfielder has come off. Of course, given talk of a hip injury heading into the match, that he started at all is perhaps a touch surprising.
"Steven was a wee bit stiff around his hip and he needs to be assessed," said the manager, surprising absolutely no one with the revelation Gerrard played while carrying—and needed to be substituted due to—a slight knock, one that will now be assessed by England's medical team "They are going to have a look at Daniel, too. He has some soreness and actually hurt his foot against Fulham. [We'll] just have to see how he is with the medical guys."
Sturridge also came off on Saturday, being removed by Rodgers after 75 minutes and looking as though he wanted to continue despite having clearly picked up an injury as the second half wore on. Now, whether either is forced to partake in England's meaningless friendlies against Chile and Germany is up to Roy Hodgson and the national team doctors. Whatever happens over the international break, though, teammate Jose Enrique insists Gerrard still has a lot more to give.
"Now he's deeper when he gets on the ball," said Enrique when asked about the captain's performance by the Liverpool Echo. "He is playing with Lucas in a role he did not play when he was younger but you can see the quality is still there. Look at his passes, his crosses and his free-kicks—when he's 50 years old he could still be doing the same thing. His quality is amazing."
Hopefully, at least in the short term, that hip injury doesn't get in the way of his doing other important midfielder things like running and changing direction. Especially after the England medical staff inevitably okay him to play 180 minutes over the break.
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- Sunday Open Thread: Busy Days in the Premier League and Serie A