"If he feels he can play, then he will and we will assess the situation afterwards. Anything more could be a risk. Maybe we could keep him on the bench and use him if we need to?
"After Chelsea we have a complete week before our next game because the Arsenal home game is the following Tuesday.
"After that, even if we qualify and have a Champions League semi-final, that is only two more games. We will be playing virtually one game a week and that makes it easier to manage the situation regarding Steven's fitness.
"I have spoken with Steven and we will do the same on Saturday along with the doctor. If he breaks down now we could lose him for two or three weeks and that would be a serious blow."
Benitez, much criticised in the past for his squad rotation policy, explained the dilemma he was in.
"We have been talking about the fitness of players like Steven for a long time, do we have rotation or do we keep our key players on the pitch?
"We have had that problem with Fernando Torres and now Gerrard."
He said his team was not prioritising the Premier League over the Champions League, but added: "We play Blackburn first and that obviously is what we are concentrating on. After that it will be Chelsea.
"We will try our best at Chelsea, it is not over yet, but we want to be top of the table after our game with Blackburn because that will put pressure on Manchester United."
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