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Nov, 27, 2008

Liverpool's Torres facing three weeks out injured

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres will be out of action for two to three weeks with a hamstring strain picked up in the Champions League win over Marseille on Wednesday.

The Spaniard completed 90 minutes at Anfield but underwent a scan today and is now set for another spell on the sidelines having only just returned from five weeks out with a similar problem.

Defender Fabio Aurelio will be out for a fortnight after picking up a calf problem in the same game.

A club spokesman told the club's website: ''Fernando has a strain in his right hamstring and will be out of action for between two and three weeks. Fabio has a calf strain in his left leg and will be out for two weeks.''

Torres' latest setback will be a blow to manager Rafael Benitez, who was hoping the 24-year-old would be able to re-establish the partnership with skipper Steven Gerrard that worked so well last season.

Torres looks set to miss fixtrues against West Ham United, Blackburn Rovers and Hull City in the league and a trip to PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League. Liverpool will hope the striker is fit for the Boxing Day visit of Arsenal.

Gerrard scored the winner against Marseille in the 1-0 Group D victory that ensured Liverpool will be in the last 16.

But Benitez revealed after the game Torres' involvement in his tactics is not working to the level of last season, when the Spaniard hit 33 goals and Gerrard chipped in with 21.

If Liverpool are still in this form come February, their participation in the knockout stages could be a short one.

Benitez said: ''Clearly the main thing was to do the job, win and progress. But we did not control the game and did not play well. We were too excited, we wanted to score the second goal with one pass. Maybe we should have passed more and been patient, and then find Torres.

''But we were trying to use him too quickly, the ball was hit straight up to him, and meant we kept conceding possession. Sometimes he was in good positions but the passes were poor, sometimes he could not get into the right place for good passes.''

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