During pre-season, a knock in training left Jon Flanagan nursing a knee injury. Initial suggestions were that is wasn't serious and he would return to action within a few weeks. A few soon turned into six due to fluid retention in the injured knee complicating the recovery process, but it was still believed he would be back well before the end of September.
Instead, he is now set to undergo surgery which will sideline him for several months. Flanagan was scheduled to return to training this week but, with the player still feeling discomfort when putting pressure on the knee, further tests were done and it was decided that he would need to undergo surgery to repair the damage.
It is a harsh blow to a young academy product who, after years on the fringes, appeared to have secured his place at the club moving forward after a strong showing in the second half of 2013-14's title challenge. He joins Glen Johnson, Emre Can, Joe Allen, and Daniel Sturridge on the injured list ahead of Saturday's match against West Ham.
In more promising news, Martin Skrtel returned to training this week and is expected to be fit enough to at least make the bench on the weekend.