Jose Enrique injury return uncertain
Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique is set to undergo further analysis of his knee injury after manager Brendan Rodgers said it was taking longer than expected to clear up.
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Enrique, 27, was initially ruled out for 10 weeks after having surgery to solve the problem with his right knee on Nov. 21.
That 10-week period elapsed on Thursday, but the defender is still not ready to return to full training.
Enrique, who has been troubled by the injury all season, managed to play through the opening weeks of the campaign.
But he has played just 29 minutes for Liverpool since Oct. 5, and has not figured at all since the 4-0 Premier League win over Fulham on Nov. 9.
Rodgers said: “Jose Enrique we just need to analyse. It’s been 10 weeks yesterday since the operation, and we’d hoped he’d be a little bit further on in his recovery.
“We just need to look at the strategy on that in terms of getting him back.”
Jon Flanagan, normally a right-back, established himself as Enrique’s replacement on the left until picking up a hamstring injury just before Christmas, when Aly Cissokho stepped in.
Flanagan is now fit again, but has taken over from the injured Glen Johnson in the right-back role, meaning Cissokho is set to continue on the left when Liverpool visit West Brom in the Premier League on Sunday.
A boost for Rodgers ahead of that game is the return to full fitness of midfielder Joe Allen, who missed the last two games with a tight hamstring.
“Joe Allen will be back, which is great news,” the manager said. “He’s looked very good in training, and he’s a very important player back in for us.”
But Johnson remains out with an ankle problem -- along with a series of other niggling injuries -- and Rodgers said there was no date yet for his return.
Fellow defenders Daniel Agger (ankle) and Mamadou Sakho (calf) are also still out, while midfielder Lucas Leiva will be absent until March with medial knee ligament damage.
Rodgers said: “Glen Johnson’s working really well. There’s no timeline on him yet, but he’s certainly working very hard with the medical teams.”