Benitez: Torres will not go under the knife

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Rafael Benitez insists Liverpool have no intention of sending Fernando Torres for an operation on his hernia problem.

The Anfield chief has reacted to suggestions Spain would like their star striker to have an operation now rather than risk a further breakdown that could affect his chances of playing in the World Cup finals.

"An operation is not in our minds, I was surprised to hear such suggestions from Spain because we have a good working relationship with their medical team," said Benitez. "We will continue to manage Torres' problem and assess him on a game-to-game basis."

Torres has played two full matches since his return from extensive treatment but along with skipper Steven Gerrard, has not looked at his best.

But the striker is expected to lead the attack again on Boxing Day with Benitez hoping Gerrard and Torres will soon find their true form.

And the Wolves game could be played with another episode on the future ownership of the club unfolding.

Sources in Saudi Arabia are claiming Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdullah will be at the match, with the prospect of co-owner George Gillett being prepared to sell his stake. Neither side would comment.

If the prince is at Anfield, it will be to see a side with just four wins in 17 matches and with Liverpool eight points adrift of a Champions League qualification spot.

Asked if he would resign if things did not improve, Benitez ducked the question by saying: "We must start winning, against Wolves certainly, and then we will see a change."

With Manchester City chief Mark Hughes axed last weekend despite being in sixth place, Benitez said: "I do not like to see any manager fired, it is important to give support to managers and to wait, to give them time. But things are changing in football, especially in England, however it is important that people retain confidence in a manager."

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Fernando Torres

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