When Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson had to come off after 50 minutes against Bournemouth with a foot injury, there were concerns he might not be fit to face Arsenal the next week. There were also more than a few questions asked about why a player who was injured going into the match had played in spite of that.
Henderson might be important to the club and Brendan Rodgers’ hopes, but Liverpool are likely to play 60+ games this season, and it seems exceptionally unlikely that Henderson can or should be involved in all of them. If he’s injured, then, what better time to use some of that newfound depth and rotate him against one of the league’s weakest sides?
Fortunately, it appears those questions are now moot, as following scans on his foot, doctors have determined Henderson did not suffer a fracture. With no confirmation yet of what the injury actually is, it doesn’t mean Henderson is certain to be involved against Arsenal. But the most likely major issue has been taken off the table.
Henderson is expected to be left out of training to aid his chances of facing the Gunners on Monday, and while Liverpool fans will hope it helps, many of them previously tried to claim Mamadou Sakho had been left off the teamsheet after missing training due to the birth of his child. It’s clear, then, a player Rodgers values won’t be in line for similar.
What’s less clear is what happens to Liverpool’s midfield, either with or without a fit Jordan Henderson. Using the captain alongside James Milner at the base didn’t look especially great in the first two matches. Emre Can, meanwhile, made things look better as a third man against Stoke and worse in place of Henderson against the Cherries on Sunday.
Three in midfield would seem prudent, but even if Henderson is fit, this Liverpool side is mostly questions and uncertainty in the middle of the park. Increasingly, they also look a side flirting with an injury crisis despite that a month ago looking the deepest squad any Liverpool manager in the Premier League era had been given.