Liverpool’s Fernando Torres looks set to be out of action for at least four weeks after specialists confirmed that the striker’s hamstring injury was worse than initially feared.
The Spaniard suffered the injury during the Champions League victory against Marseille at Anfield on 26 November.
“We first said two to three weeks but do not want to put a time on it now,” said Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.
“He will come back when he is ready. We will not rush him back.
“We want to resolve this problem once and for all and we will make sure we do that.”
Torres has been plagued by hamstring problems over the past 18 months, suffering the injury five times during that time.
Benitez had questioned the training regime utilised by the Spanish national side and believes it could be the cause of his injury.
“He has been injured now three times while with the national team and it is something we have to analyse,” he stated.
“We knew they were doing something that is maybe not the best for the player.”
Torres will now miss Premier League games against Blackburn, Hull, Arsenal and Bolton and Tuesday’s Champions League tie against PSV Eindhoven.
The Reds currently top the Premier League but have drawn their last two home games without scoring a goal.
Torres himself is looking forward to returning to the side to boost their title credentials.
He said: “The only thing to do is to get on with the rehabilitation and make sure that I come back when I am ready and not too soon.”