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Feb 5, 2009

Reds skipper Gerrard ruled out for three weeks

Liverpool have learned that Steven Gerrard's hamstring injury will keep him out of action for three weeks, after the player underwent a scan.

The skipper was forced off after only 16 minutes of Liverpool's FA Cup defeat at Everton on Wednesday night after feeling a problem and the club's title charge may now suffer a blow.

A club spokesman told Liverpool's website: "A scan today has confirmed a tear in the hamstring of Steven's left leg. He will be out of action for about three weeks."

He will miss the weekend trip to Portsmouth, and could be doubtful for the Reds' Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Feb 25; while he will not be involved with the England squad when they travel to Seville to play Spain on Wednesday either.

One of the reasons boss Rafael Benitez chose to sell Robbie Keane was Gerrard's ability to play behind Fernando Torres, who also looked jaded at Goodison Park.

Manager Rafael Benitez is aware of the significant role Gerrard has in the team but now expects others to step up to cover his absence.

"He is an important player for us. It is always more difficult to play without him,'' Benitez said.

"You can't change things so it is better to concentrate on the next game. We have some problems with injuries and Portsmouth will be tough so we need players with fresh legs.''

Benitez said after the match: "Steven was tired, and he gets injured. He was tired, too, at Wigan but when I took him off there everyone was saying he had to play every single minute of every match. Now you have seen the consequences.

"He asked to be taken off, you could see at Wigan he was struggling and the same thing happened here.''

Benitez also made a sarcastic reference to the fact England made Gerrard travel to London to assess a previous injury before accepting he was injured earlier this season.

He continued: "Maybe he will have go down to London again like last time for a scan to prove he is injured. That would be funny.''

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