Liverpool rocked as Gerrard out for four weeks
Liverpool have been dealt a huge blow with the news that captain Steven Gerrard will be out for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury sustained on England duty.
Capello upset for Gerrard
Gerrard, 30, pulled up in the latter stages of England's 2-1 defeat to France at Wembley on Wednesday, and was immediately replaced by Peter Crouch.
Within minutes of Gerrard limping off it became apparent the Merseyside giants were not happy. Liverpool's head of fitness and conditioning Darren Burgess made his feelings clear on social networking site Twitter, branding the FA "amateurish, incompetent and disgraceful'' for their handling of Gerrard, who has now suffered seven injuries on international duty in the past three years.
England boss Fabio Capello will phone manager Roy Hodgson to sympathise but he does not intend to apologise. "I will speak with him (Hodgson),'' Capello said. "But to explain what?
"Afterwards he will be either happy or not happy. I know this because Steven is a really important player. But injuries can happen. We were trying to win the game, he is really important and we had a lot of injuries in midfield. That is why he stayed on the pitch.''
Gerrard now faces up to a month on the sidelines with an injury that Dr Peter Brukner, the head of sports science at Anfield, described as "significant".
"Steven injured his hamstring last night [Wednesday]," Brukner said. "He's just been in for an early assessment here and it certainly looks like a significant hamstring injury."
The Reds skipper underwent tests on Thursday which confirmed he had suffered a grade two tear.
"He's going to be out for a little while, I'm afraid. I'd imagine it could be three to four weeks. If you put your hand up to play for your country, you've got to accept how long they want you to play for.
"There were obviously circumstances last night which came together to result in Steven playing for a bit longer than we'd hoped, which is disappointing, but there's nothing we can do about that now.
"We'll move on and work as hard as we can to get him back playing for Liverpool as soon as possible."
Gerrard will miss the Premier League games against West Ham, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Newcastle, while he may also be absent for Europa League clashes with Steaua Bucuresti and FC Utrecht.
Liverpool's endured an appalling start to the season, which saw them drop into the relegation zone after eight games and exit the Carling Cup at the hands of minnows Northampton Town.
Successive wins against Blackburn, Bolton and Chelsea appeared to have arrested that slide, but Roy Hodgson's side have drawn at Wigan and lost at Stoke in their past two games.
Gerrard and fellow star turn Fernando Torres have struggled for form this season, but both have still proved the Reds' key attacking outlets and without Gerrard, there will likely be added responsibility on the shoulders of underperforming playmaker Joe Cole.