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Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Reds keen to avoid Torres surgery

Fernando Torres
Torres has not been selected in the Spain squad for their upcoming games

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez says Fernando Torres will have three weeks of treatment on a groin injury, calming fears the striker needs surgery.

The striker missed Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Birmingham on Monday and Benitez confirmed to BBC Radio 5 live that he had started treatment on the problem.

"Torres was not confident and we have now started a three-week course of treatment," said Benitez.

"We will have to see how he reacts. We are not considering an operation yet."

Despite Torres' persistent injury, he has continued to feature intermittently for Liverpool in recent weeks.

He began the 3-1 defeat at Fulham and scored but was substituted by Benitez in the 62nd minute, leading to criticism of the manager.

He subsequently played in the 1-1 Champions League draw in Lyon but sat out the draw with Birmingham at Anfield.

Liverpool now trail Premier League leaders Chelsea by 11 points but Benitez is setting no timescale for the return of his star striker.

"I don't know if he will be ready for Manchester City (on 21 November)," Benitez told the Liverpool website. "The only thing I can say is we're talking about two or three weeks working with the physios.

"We haven't got a deadline, we just need to see how he is every day."

To aid his recovery, Torres has been left out of the Spain squad for the upcoming international friendlies with Argentina on Saturday and Austria the following Wednesday.

Spain manager Vincente Del Bosque revealed on the Spanish Football Federation website that an agreement had been reached with Benitez to exclude the player.

"We spoke with Torres and Benitez and concluded that he shouldn't come here," said Del Bosque. "I am sure he would have liked to, but his injury problems have made the decision (for us)."

Liverpool's troubles continued as they suffered further injury concerns during Monday's game.

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Albert Riera, Yossi Benayoun and Daniel Agger all picked up injuries, although Steven Gerrard came off the bench to score from the penalty spot.

Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani, who has recovered from the ankle injury that had kept him out of action since his summer move from Roma, made his Premier League debut when he came on as a substitute in the 82nd minute.

Gerrard made a telling contribution, despite being a doubt with a groin problem, but there were several new concerns for Benitez, with Riera and Benayoun both substituted because of hamstring injuries.

"We have a problem with Riera, Agger with his back and Yossi but Steve was good," stated the Spaniard.

"He was available, not 100% fit, but at least he has the quality and the passion that we needed."

Benitez conceded Liverpool were fortunate to have been awarded the penalty against Birmingham but believed his team should have won the match.

Gerrard scored from the spot to make it 2-2 after David Ngog had appeared to dive over a Lee Carsley tackle.

"It was clear, it was not a penalty, even if that works against us," added Benitez.

"There have been many times this season that we have not been awarded penalties we should have had. I have asked Ngog and he said maybe it wasn't a penalty, either."

Benitez refused to give up on his side's Premier League title hopes, despite only six wins in their opening 12 games of the season.

"I think we have to be realistic and then think about the next game, that's it," he said.

"We cannot be talking about the title when we have to win some games in a row.

"The main thing is for us to win these games, still trying to create chances, showing character until the last minute and win. That's it."

Liverpool are seventh in the top flight, while their bid to qualify for the next round of the Champions League is hanging by a thread.



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see also
'Awful' Reds must fight - Johnson
10 Nov 09 |  Liverpool
Birmingham angry at 'cheat' Ngog
10 Nov 09 |  Birmingham
Liverpool 2-2 Birmingham
09 Nov 09 |  Premier League
Monday football as it happened
09 Nov 09 |  Football
Benitez defends Torres withdrawal
31 Oct 09 |  Liverpool
Johnson eases Reds injury worries
21 Oct 09 |  Liverpool


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