Noticeably absent from the squad yesterday--not just the starting eleven, but the 18-man matchday squad--was Steven Gerrard, who's found his minutes further managed since his announcement earlier in the month that he would be leaving at season's end for LA Galaxy. The captain's omission still seems jarring each time a squad is announced, and yesterday it was especially so given that it came with the chance to reach 700 appearances in front of his home supporters.
That he was left out wasn't strictly down to rotation, however, as Brendan Rodgers noted pre-match that Gerrard was carrying a slight hamstring injury after the 120 minutes he played midweek against Chelsea in the second leg of the League Cup semifinals. That should leave him in line for number 700 on Tuesday at Bolton in the FA Cup, and the manager commented briefly on the captain's achievement, which should, assuming the initial evaluation was accurate, come in a competition in which his heroics have long featured:
"It's an incredible achievement and I'm not sure it will happen again. It will take some achievement by any player to do that again. His life and journey here have been remarkable and you see how committed and focused he still is. It is absolutely incredible and there are more appearances to come."
Gerrard is currently third behind Jamie Carragher, who made his 737th appearance against QPR in the 2012-2013 season, and Ian Callaghan, whose 857 will surely remain the top number in the club's history. If Gerrard feature against Bolton, it will also be his 465th match as captain, comfortably first on a list that includes the likes of Ron Yeats, Emlyn Hughes, Ian Rush, and Alan Hansen in the top ten.
**Stats from LFCHistory.net**