Following a loss to West Ham United heading into the September international break, Christian Benteke was reported to have picked up a hamstring injury. It largely kept him out of action for Belgium, and while he seemed fine following his return to club action against Manchester United, against Norwich it forced him off at the half.
Now, after a series of tests, the striker has been ruled out of action for at least the next two weeks. As such, he is certain to miss this weekend's match against his former club, Aston Villa. He is also certain to miss next week's Europa League tie against FC Sion and is doubtful for Liverpool's subsequent clash against local rivals Everton on October 4th.
After the Everton match, the October international break arrives, with Belgium—currently assured of a top three finish in their qualification group that would ensure a playoff spot for next summer's Euros but not yet certain of the top two finish that would grant automatic qualification—set to face off against first Andorra and then Israel.
That their first match is against Andorra should hopefully give Benteke an extra week off if he doesn't recover more quickly than expected. Israel, close behind Belgium in third, is a more difficult proposition, and if the striker is close to full fitness he will be expected to play. Hopefully there will be no doubts about his hamstring by that stage.
Since arriving at Liverpool over the summer for £32.5M, Benteke has looked a highly talented if somewhat awkward and isolated fit at times. A stunning bicycle kick goal against Manchester United showed how good he can be, but beyond a few such moments of individual brilliance he has struggled in a side that hasn't given him much support.
Beyond the exorbitant price tag, Benteke's injury record was pointed to by many as a potential concern when the club signed him. The big striker suffered a series of knee problems in 2013, and then in 2014 he ruptured his achilles tendon and was sidelined for six months.
- Liverpool Reportedly Make Ancelotti Approach
- Know Your Enemies: Carlisle United F.C.
- Capital One Cup Coverage: Liverpool vs. Carlisle, Wednesday, September 23rd
- Rossiter in Line for Second Start After Impressing Liverpool’s Coaching Staff
- Liverpool FC Transfer Rumours: Fenerbahce Target Reds Striker