Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano will be able to use his four-match suspension over the festive period to recover from a knee problem.
The Argentina captain sustained an injury in the tackle which earned him a red card in the 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth on Saturday.
"The player had a scan which confirmed the medical team's initial diagnosis that he suffered a medial ligament sprain in his left knee," a club spokesman told liverpoolfc.tv. "He is expected to be sidelined for two to three weeks."
As he has already served a ban this season Mascherano will be forced to sit out four matches, meaning he will miss fixtures against Wolves, Aston Villa, the FA Cup third round tie at Reading and the league clash with Tottenham on January 10.
However, the club believe his injury would have sidelined him for at least that long any way.
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