The superstitious amongst us may be inclined to believe that things happen in threes, as a hat trick of shoulder injuries requiring surgery has now been completed this season at Liverpool FC. Fabio Borini and Joe Allen both went under the knife earlier this year for shoulder-related reasons, and now Steven Gerrard is set to follow suit to address his own nagging shoulder issues.
Gerrard's injury is not problematic enough to prevent him from playing out the remainder of the season, although judging by Joe Allen's inclusion in the side until he was ready to fall apart, this may not be the comforting news the club wants it to be. It's also not comforting news for former Reds gaffer Roy Hodgson as the England manager won't be able to rely on Gerrard to lead the Three Lions out during friendlies against the Republic of Ireland on May 29 and Brazil on June 2.
Gerrard's surgery is set to sideline him for six to eight weeks, which puts his return somewhere in the first few weeks of July. This should be a relief to those in the Pacific rim who are already dealing with the possibility of missing out on Luis Suarez during the club's tour of Thailand and Australia. The club's announcement of Stevie's testimonial match on August 3 should also be further indication that the nature of the injury is not serious enough to require a "wait and see" approach post-surgery.
The club have kept mum on Stevie's injury up until this point, leaving it buried underneath multiple soundbites about the club's new fitness strategies and the captain's amazing new regimen that has seen him play every league match this season. The only clues to there being any kind of problem were the bits of therapeutic tape covering Gerrard's shoulder on match days, but the increased ubiquity of the tape throughout the league and lack of scientific evidence supporting its usefulness meant there wasn't much to infer from Gerrard's usage of it.
With Gerrard feeling like he still has a few more seasons left in him, regular tune-ups of this sort are bound to become more frequent. It will be up to the player, manager, and team of physios to manage the physical side of Gerrard's game as he ages, and if an ounce of preventative minor surgery is worth a pound of major injury, then it's better to have the surgery at the end of the season than to wait until he reaches Joe Allen levels of playing through the pain.