Gerrard could boost Liverpool for the next Merseyside derby

Steven Gerrard could return to the Liverpool side for January’s Merseyside derby against Everton.

News broke earlier this week that the Liverpool and England captain is carrying a hamstring problem which is likely to keep him out of action for around four to six weeks.

As far as Liverpool fans and Brendan Rodgers are concerned, they will be hoping that Gerrard recovers well over the Christmas period, with the four week absence more likely than the six week hiatus for the midfielder.

It’s a catch 22 situation for Rodgers because as valuable and effective as Gerrard is for the current side, he cannot risk bringing him back prematurely which could increase the chance of an even worse long term injury that would force the Liverpool skipper out of action for even more matches.

If he recovers well then he’ll be back in training after four weeks, unlikely to play for the next five weeks which would make the trip to Stoke on January 12 a possible return date but that’s the best case scenario.

However, if he’s not able to get back into first team training for six weeks, that will take him right up to around the home match against Aston Villa on January 18 before he can train again.

If that’s the case then the good news is that following that tricky home match against Aston Villa, Liverpool don’t play for ten days before the match against Everton which means a fully fit and ready Gerrard would subsequently be ready to feature in that game.

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Liverpool are not as hampered in terms of fixtures as some of their rivals already have been and will be over the winter period, but if Gerrard returns for that clash against Everton it means he will miss seven games from this point.

Another factor is that the January transfer window would have opened before Gerrard gets over his hamstring problem, which means Rodgers can draft in some winter reinforcements, taking the pressure away from rushing back his captain.

Rodgers has already made it very clear that he’s looking to add to his squad this January and Liverpool’s current league position means they should be able to attract some temporary cover for Gerrard at the very least.

Liverpool are in a very exciting, and somewhat unexpected position, sitting second in the Premier League table and the balance Rodgers has to tackle is the value and effectiveness of Gerrard as a player against the value of him ahead of the rest of the season.

image: © ruairadhG

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