Having played 120 minutes against Chelsea last Tuesday, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard sat out over the weekend against West Ham due to concerns over his hamstring. According to Brendan Rodgers, it was a purely precautionary move, and he fully expects Gerrard will be available for selection against Bolton for Liverpool’s FA Cup replay on Wednesday.
"He’s fine and he trained great this morning," was Rodgers’ assessment of Gerrard. "I just had to look at how tight his hamstring was after the [Chelsea] game, since it was 120 minutes. We measure the recovery process and look at that, and if it’s too much of a risk—like you saw on Saturday—we have got other players who can come in and then we can continue his recovery process individually."
Gerrard has had issues with his hamstring in the past, and it was clear while the Chelsea match was being played—before it even got to extra time—that he was struggling physically with the demands. That he had to be kept out completely over the weekend to recover only strengthens that impression, and given the manager had chances to substitute the player, it’s unfortunate it came to that.
When energised and largely freed from defensive duties, Gerrard is still a valuable contributor for this Liverpool side, but playing 120 minutes on Tuesday and then not being able to play at all on Saturday is another example of the mismanagement of the club’s ageing captain. With him set to leave for LA Galaxy at the end of the year it may not matter in the long term, but it’s still a sad situation to watch unfolding.
He’ll be back tomorrow against Bolton, though, and with the League Cup and league off the table, Steven Gerrard at his best will be needed to help Liverpool to a win to keep any realistic hopes of him ending his Liverpool career with a trophy alive.