It’s been a trying, disappointing season for Adam Lallana. Not so much on the pitch, where he’s scored four goals and added three assists, scoring once in every four matches he’s on the pitch from midfield. The disappointment has instead come from how often he’s been sidelined: over the course of the season, Lallana has been out more than 70 days and 10 matches with injury.
First, a knee injury disrupted his pre-season, leading to a slower than expected acclimatisation to life at his new club. Then a hamstring injury knocked him out right when he was hitting his stride, having finally recovered from that first injury and his missed pre-season to be named Liverpool’s player of the month in December. Along the way there was also a broken rib that he played through and, over the last few weeks, it’s been a groin injury that’s kept him out.
Now, despite that at the time of Brendan Rodgers’ pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final replay against Blackburn he was expected to be available, news has broken that Lallana failed a late fitness test and will miss the match. He will be joined in the stands by Jon Flanagan, who despite participating in Steven Gerrard’s testimonial remains short of full fitness as he struggles to return from injury.
Flanagan has been out since the pre-season, when a build-up of fluid on the knee required surgery. He was expected back for the new year, and was even reported as being close to full fitness in January. Three months later, though, and he’s still on the sidelines and still a hopeful maybe next week—literally this time, as Brendan Rodgers is hoping he will be on the bench on Monday against Newcastle.