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Reds hope for good news on Gerrard

Liverpool are assessing the fitness of skipper Steven Gerrard after he aggravated a persistent groin problem during Wednesday night's Champions League defeat by Chelsea.

The England midfielder, who had surgery on his groin in the summer, underwent a scan on Thursday to asses the extent of the injury and he could miss Saturday's Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers at Anfield.

Gerrard complained of a tight groin during the 1-0 victory over Fulham last weekend and was withdrawn at Craven Cottage as a precaution.

Following Wednesday's 3-1 home defeat to Chelsea it looks likely the Reds will bow out of the Champions League and, with little margin for error in the Premier League title race with Manchester United, Gerrard's absence would be a big blow.

The 28-year-old was branded as the best midfielder in the world by former FIFA Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane following Liverpool's victory over Real Madrid last month and his partnership with striker Fernando Torres provides Liverpool's most potent threat.

Manager Rafael Benitez said after the defeat to Chelsea: ''Steven was not 100%, you could see that. It was the same for Fernando Torres, you could see that they were a little tired, not as sharp as before.

''But they have been playing well and we felt it was okay to use them both in this game. We need them. But credit to Chelsea, they were always controlling Steven and making it difficult for him to play.

''He was not as mobile as normally, Chelsea made it very difficult for him. But the difference in this match was that Chelsea played really well and we didn't. The injury he had on Saturday was not the problem, his ankle was okay.''


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