Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard is set to miss England’s opening 2010 World Cup qualifiers after suffering a groin injury.
Gerrard played all 120 minutes of Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Standard Liege on Wednesday, but looked well short of his best and will today undergo exploratory surgery.
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has now confirmed the England international will need an operation – stating it is best to do it sooner rather than later.
“(Gerrard) has a groin problem so he will have an operation and could be out for 10 to 15 days,” explained Benitez.
“It’s not serious, but we need to do it. He has been playing some games in pain, not being 100 percent fit.
“He had a problem for the first leg with Liege and when he went away with England for the friendly last week against the Czech Republic.
“We talked with the doctor yesterday and today and it was decided that Steven would play in this match with the pain, but now we will have to get the situation solved.”
England kick off their World Cup qualifying campaign with away matches against Andorra and Croatia early next month, games Gerrard is now likely to miss.
Speaking of Liverpool’s last-gasp win over Standard Liege, Benitez added: “Obviously there is some relief with the result. We knew it would be a difficult game against a quick, well-organised team.
“The positive was that we played a little better than recently – we want to win trophies but we also understand the need for money.”