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 By Mike Whalley

Jose Enrique facing lengthy layoff

Liverpool defender Jose Enrique is facing a long-term absence with the knee injury that will keep him out of Saturday’s Merseyside derby.

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Enrique will need surgery to clear up the problem, which has been troubling him all season, manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed.

Enrique has managed to play only 29 minutes for Rodgers’ side since Oct. 5, with summer signing Aly Cissokho filling in.

Rodgers told talkSPORT: “Jose Enrique has been struggling for a little while with an injury. He will probably need an operation. It’s a blow for us because he's a very talented player.”

The manager first indicated in October that the 27-year-old had been struggling all season with a knee problem, and Enrique's absence will leave Rodgers short of options on the left side of defence.

Cissokho, brought in on a season’s loan from Valencia in the summer, is set for a lengthy run in the side, but with Jack Robinson, another left-back, out on loan at Blackpool, Rodgers would be likely to ask right-back Glen Johnson to switch sides if anything happened to the Frenchman.

Johnson played at left-back for Liverpool in the early weeks of last season, with Martin Kelly playing on the right.

Central defender Mamadou Sakho filled in at left-back in the 1-0 Premier League defeat at home to Southampton on Sept. 21, but looked uncomfortable in the role.

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