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Centre Half Injury Woes to Leave Reds Shorthanded for Arsenal

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While Daniel Agger is nearing a return, Mamdou Sakho's hamstring troubles continue to drag on—and neither will be ready to face Arsenal on Saturday.

Laurence Griffiths

Fans hoping to see the return of one of Liverpool's injured centre halves in time for Saturday's match against Arsenal get their injury update early this week, and it isn't the one they'd been hoping for. Neither Mamadou Sakho nor Daniel Agger will be in line to face the Gunners, leaving Kolo Toure the default selection alongside Martin Skrtel and, with Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique still out injured, between Jon Flanagan and Aly Cissokho.

Though few had imagined Agger was in line for the weekend, there were hopes Sakho might be. However, while neither will play on Saturday, it is Agger who appears to be closer to a return as Sakho's hamstring troubles drag on. Liverpool's marquee signing of last summer had been talked of as a hopeful inclusion towards the end of January, only instead of getting closer to a return, with each passing week it only seems to get farther away.

"Daniel and Mamadou are not far off but I’m not expecting to have either of them back for the weekend," Brendan Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo, dashing any hope the club would have something resembling a choice in its defensive selection come Saturday. "They are not back full training yet. Daniel will be back at some stage next week so he’s progressing really well. But Sakho is still a bit away from coming back training."

Rodgers' suggested timeline probably puts next Wednesday's date with Fulham too soon for Agger, though the Denmark captain could be in line for a return in the FA Cup when Liverpool head to the Emirates to face Arsenal again on the following Sunday. For Sakho, the timeline is more vague and distant, something that has rather worryingly started to become the status quo for the French centre half.