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Pepe Reina Re-Aggravates Hamstring and Doni Returns

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Liverpool today learned Pepe Reina will remain out of commission after re-aggravating his hamstring injury in training while at the same time goalkeeper Alexander Doni was returning to the club after a four-month absence.

Julian Finney

Bad news arrived for Liverpool and Pepe Reina today when it was learned that the goalkeeper has re-aggravated his hamstring injury in training, ruling out any chance he could be given a game against Swansea City in the Lague Cup on Wednesday. In all likelihood, Reina will now also miss Sunday's match against Newcastle, with next week's Europa League return leg at Anzhi Makhachkala likely the soonest a return would be possible—at least assuming there are no further complications.

That his hamstring injury was re-aggravated at all, though, may be reason enough for Brendan Rodgers to keep Reina in reserve and completely away from any kind of action for an extended period as the manager looks to avoid any chance that the injury could become either chronic or more severe. And one name that could be in contention to see minutes over the coming weeks if Reina's absence does drag on is more than a little surprising: Alexander Doni.

While the club was getting the bad news about Reina's injury complications, they were also welcoming back the Brazilian backup who had gone missing shortly before the club's North American pre-season tour. According to the Liverpool Echo (HT: janeytee), though, Doni has now returned to Liverpool and begun training with the club once again following an otherwise unexplained four-month absence due to personal problems.

With Brad Jones unfavoured by Kenny Dalglish, Doni arrived on a free over the summer of 2011 and proceeded to make four starts in the Premier League, with the final coming against Swansea City in last season's final match. However, given he's only now returned from an extended layoff, an immediate return to action against the same opponents is more than a touch unlikely.

For now, at least, with academy graduate Peter Gulasci also ruled out of action after splitting his finger in training and requiring stitches, it leaves Brad Jones as the club's uncontested starting keeper for at least another week following a performance against Everton over the weekend that while less convincing than his previous two against Reading and Anzhi Makhachkala should still have resulted in a win for Liverpool.