Liverpool Team News Update: Rodgers Offers Latest On Johnson, Flanagan + Leiva
Liverpool take on Bournemouth at the Goldsands Stadium on Saturday lunchtime in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Here’s the latest team news from Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool take on Bournemouth at the Goldsands Stadium on Saturday lunchtime in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Ahead of the game, boss Brendan Rodgers has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference today and gave Liverpoolfc.com a team news and injury update including the latest on the fitness of Glen Johnson, Jon Flanagan and Lucas Leiva.
The Reds boss revealed the bad news that he has lost Johnson for an extended period with the full-back due for a stint on the sidelines to overcome a series of niggling injuries that have troubled him in recent weeks.
Rodgers refused to give any specific time-frame on how long the experienced defender would be out for but revealed that the club felt now was the time to resolve the injuries to help Johnson get back to his best.
However, there was a more positive update on Flanagan with the young defender now back in full training this week and he could be back in contention to face Bournemouth this weekend.
Rodgers told the clubs official website:
“We’ve got a few that have been ill this week, and one or two that have been struggling with injury.
“Our latest one is Glen Johnson. Glen has played a lot of the season having been injured and really put himself out for the team, but unfortunately he’s struggled a lot with a number of injuries.
“The timeline he’ll be out will be indefinitely, really. We’ll just need to assess that and see how quickly he comes through that.
“He’s had a real bad ankle for a period of time, and just one or two other issues that haven’t allowed him to be 100 per cent.
“I think everyone has seen over many years the speed, fluency and how good he’s been, but for part of this season he’s been restricted and that’s obviously been difficult for him.
“But he’s put himself out for the team to train and to play, and I just think it’s now at that point where we need to get him right.
“There’s no timeline on it. We just need to assess it and we’ll take it from there.”
“Apart from that, it’s where we were. We have one or two coming back; young Jon Flanagan is back into the squad and has been training really well. But we’ve still got one or two that are out.”
There was also bad news on midfielder Leiva with Rodgers confirming the Brazilian was set to miss “a few months” after picking up a knee injury against Aston Villa last week – despite the player hinting on Twitter last night that he could be back in a few weeks.
“First of all, personally I am disappointed for Lucas because he’s been very, very important for our squad this season. It was something that was innocuous really and has put him out for a few months.
“Hopefully he’ll get back sooner rather than later.
“He’d been in good form this season and had worked his way back into the Brazil squad. Knowing what he is like, he’ll be back sooner rather than later – and he’ll do everything in his power to get back.
“In the meantime, that leaves us short of a really good player.”
Liverpool have also been without Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Agger and Jose Enrique in recent weeks and Rodgers confirmed that the club are working hard to get everybody fit to help out during what’s going to be a defining part of the season that sees the Reds take on the likes of Everton, Arsenal and Manchester United.
“We’ve got to work hard at getting some of these players back fit,” concluded Rodgers.
“We spoke to the injured players this morning and told them we’re moving into a really important period, and they’re very important to what we’re trying to achieve here. I want them to work tirelessly now and even harder to get back as quick as they possibly can. The squad needs them.
“Their reaction was great. We’re all in it together, we’ve just been very unfortunate with injuries to key players – the likes of Lucas adds to that.
“But we just have to manage with what we’ve got. That’s what we’ll look to do and if we can bring any [players] in then great, and if not then we have what we have.”
The Merseysiders are expected to rest some key men against Bournemouth this weekend and give some of their fringe players a run-out in the first team. We’ll have our predicted starting line-up published on the site this evening.
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