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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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By ESPN Staff

Liverpool cool worries over Gerrard fitness

Liverpool expect skipper Steven Gerrard to be fit for their friendly against Villarreal in Spain next week - by which time they should have another striker on board. Gerrard is back at the club's Melwood training camp receiving treatment on a groin injury as boss Rafael Benitez's prepares his squad for tomorrow's away friendly with Hertha Berlin. The England midfielder missed Saturday's 1-1 draw with Wisla Krakow in Switzerland, having been sent home for treatment on an injury sustained in training. Benitez accepted that Gerrard would not be fit for the trip to Berlin, but has every hope that he will be on the plane to Spain next week for the August 30 clash with goalkeeper Jose Reina's former club. On Gerrard's fitness, Benitez made it clear immediately after the Krakow game that the player's absence is only short-term. Benitez said: 'Steven's groin problem is not serious but he cannot train and he wouldn't be available for the game in Berlin, so we decided to send him back to Melwood. 'He should be okay in about a week. It's not serious but there's no sense to keep him with us while he is unable to train or play.'

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