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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 January, 2005, 13:53 GMT
Alonso sidelined for three months
Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso is assisted off the pitch after breaking his ankle
Liverpool's Xabi Alonso will be out of action for three months with the broken ankle he suffered in the Reds' 1-0 defeat against Chelsea.

Alonso was initially expected to be out for six weeks after falling victim to Frank Lampard's robust challenge.

But the 23-year-old now faces a longer spell on the sidelines after learning he needs an operation to insert a screw into his left ankle.

The influential midfielder will undergo surgery on Thursday.

Alonso has become a key figure since his summer signing from Sociedad.

The playmaker joined Anfield in a 10.5m move and has made 23 appearances for Liverpool, scoring two goals.

Alonso joined Harry Kewell (groin), Milan Baros (hamstring) and long-term injury victims Vladimir Smicer (knee) and Djibril Cisse (broken leg) on the Anfield injury-list.

But Benitez would not be drawn on whether he would seek to bolster his squad in January's transfer window.

"We will see," Benitez said. "We have a good squad so we have players who can come into midfield."

Interview: Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez

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