Already short-staffed due to an injury to Joe Allen that took Emre Can out of his role as defender and a lack of match fitness for Mamadou Sakho, Brendan Rodgers was forced into another change after just three minutes when Martin Skrtel was injured after an awkward fall. The Slovakian central defender's shoulder, neck, and head met the ground first, and he was non-responsive as Liverpool's medical staff rushed onto the field.
And while the fall itself and the immediate aftermath were significant cause for concern, Rodgers is apparently confident that it looked far worse than it actually was:
"He's fine but he'll go to the local hospital just to make sure. I think if he had his choice, he wouldn't, but we have to follow procedure and our medical experts. But he was fine - he was up walking about and talking after the game. But as a precaution, we just need to make sure he's OK."
"Fine" is probably not the word to use when discussing an incident that left teammates, both clubs' medical staffs, and supporters very concerned about the veteran defender's well-being. He was clearly concussed after hitting the ground, initially unable to move his arms and looking incoherent as he stared at the sky. And while it was heartening to see him take off the head strap and give supporters a thumbs up as he was stretchered off, it seemed clear that this was not a situation in which he was left "fine."
Thankfully there was no question that he was removed immediately, and an evaluation at the hospital and subsequent monitoring seems the minimum course of action to try to ensure that he's in the clear both short- and long-term.