Having been ruled out for Friday's meaningless friendly against Chile, most Liverpool fans might have been forgiven for assuming Steven Gerrard would be taking the international break off this time around. After all, England are already through and neither the Chile match nor next week's Wembley affair with Germany actually mean anything. Liverpool, meanwhile, are in the thick of the top four and will need their captain fit and rested for a busy stretch through to the new year.
As much as Gerrard may relish representing his country, with a lingering hip problem that first cropped up against Arsenal two weeks ago, it seems a fairly simple and straightforward decision that he's faced with. Witch of course makes it surprisingly unsurprising that, after he was ruled out of the Chile match yesterday, today fans learned he hasn't actually been ruled out for Germany and that moreover he has taken painkilling injections with the goal of being available for Tuesday.
"He’s had an injection and he’s out of the Chile game but we’re hoping he will be OK for the Germany game,’’ said England manager Roy Hodgson at his pre-Chile press conference, and with those few words managed to make himself even less popular amongst the Liverpool faithful. Hodgson, though, isn't the culprit this time out, as if widespread reports are to be believed it was Gerrard's determination to participate in Tuesday's match that has led to the 33-year-old midfielder to avoid the sensible choice of resting himself for Liverpool's winter push.
With Gerrard often struggling to appear fit for the full 90 minutes any more at the club level and his recent hip issues, that he's even attempting to make himself available to participate in a friendly rivalry match—albeit a rivalry only the English take especially seriously—is a blow to Liverpool's chances coming out of the break and disappointing news when the prudent course would be attempting to rehab his hip rather than taking injections to play through it and that could end up making the injury worse.