Rafa ready to nurse Gerrard

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Rafael Benitez has revealed the full extent of the injury problem that threatens to wreck Steven Gerrard's season.

The Liverpool skipper is very unlikely to be risked from the start of Saturday's Premier League clash with relegation-threatened Blackburn but may lead out the side in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg at Chelsea.

Benitez said: "If we do play him against Blackburn it does not mean we are writing off the Champions League. But we must approach each game on its merits."

Boss Benitez confirmed the club were aware of Gerrard's worsening groin problem even before last weekend's win at Fulham.

And it is clear now the 28-year-old star will have to be nursed through the final weeks of the season as Liverpool continue their battle for the title and survival in Europe.

It is also clear Gerrard probably returned from England duty - having figured in both the Slovakia friendly and the World Cup qualifying win over Ukraine - with the problem.

Benitez accepts Gerrard cannot play two full games over four days and he will have to choose which one the club captain is risked in.

Benitez added: "The decision I have to make is whether I use him against Blackburn or Chelsea. 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.

"If he gets injured again he could need more than a week to recover; it is tough call but we will consider all the risks."

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European News
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Steven Gerrard

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