Updating Liverpool's injury situation brings bad news for Jose Enrique, while new signing Daniel Sturridge's status remains doubtful. In more positive news, Fabio Borini is set to return to full training.
At his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday's third round FA Cup tie against Mansfield, manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed that Jose Enrique is likely to miss the next six weeks with a hamstring injury. With Jack Robinson out of favour and Andre Wisdom making his return to action at right back against QPR, it likely means a lot more of Glen Johnson on the left in the coming weeks.
For Enrique, it's a harsh blow. The player's struggles with form in the second half of last season had carried over into the current term, only improving over the past month following an effective spell on the wing that appeared to have given him a needed confidence boost. That return to form has now been cut short through injury as Enrique's no good very bad not nice 2012 shows signs of carrying on into 2013.
As for new signing Daniel Sturridge, he likely won't be missing for the next six weeks but he might be missing at least for this weekend after arriving at Liverpool still carrying the knock that has kept him from making the bench for Chelsea in recent weeks. Hopefully he can return to fitness more quickly than the last striker the club signed injured in January.
"We'll assess that," Rodgers said of Sturridge's status. "He's been catching up in terms of his fitness, so I'm not going to rush him."
Given Sturridge's lack of match action for Chelsea this season, it's likely the striker could have used the minutes against Mansfield to help get up to speed ahead of a visit to Manchester United. On the other hand, given the questionable status of the Conference National side's pitch, there's an argument to be made for Liverpool keeping all their presumptive starters wrapped in cotton wool this week.
And finally on the injury front, Fabio Borini is expected to return to training next week, though where he fits into the squad now that Sturridge has arrived and with Raheem Sterling on solid form is an open question.