Liverpool have been rocked by the news central defender Daniel Agger will be out for four weeks after suffering a calf complaint in the 2-0 FA Cup win over Oldham last weekend, according to the Daily Mail.
The Denmark international trudged off late on with what was initially thought of as cramp, but scans have shown that Agger has a calf strain and will now miss a crucial period in his side's season.
Despite hardly being an ever-present this season, Agger's loss will be sorely felt by Brendan Rodgers and his charges, with a trip to Stoke and home matches against both Everton and Arsenal to come in the next month.
Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho have slowly come to prove Rodgers' first-choice pairing at the heart of the team's defence but neither have particularly convinced, with the former notably culpable for Samuel Eto'o's winner for Chelsea in the recent clash between the two sides at Stamford Bridge.
It could be argued, then, that Agger's injury is as detrimental to himself personally as well as from a collective perspective, with Skrtel and Sakho now in the driving seat to cement their places in Rodgers' first-team setup.
Rodgers certainly doesn't mind playing his men out of position judging by the usage of Sakho and Jon Flanagan so far this term but, with just Kolo Toure to call upon as an orthodox centre back, it will be intriguing to see whether the Northern Irishman is tempted to dip into his transfer kitty to find a solution.
Agger's absence hardly leaves Liverpool with a paucity of defensive options but with the fixtures stacking up - Liverpool's lack of European involvement is offset by their progression to the next round of the FA Cup - it may prove a worthwhile addition in the grand scheme of things given the Reds' race for the final Champions League spot.
With Everton in such fine fettle, there are certainly no assurances over Liverpool's ability to secure fourth place, especially when you consider Manchester United's plight and Tottenham's own troubles.
Akin to Arsenal's need to acquire a striker and continue their title charge, Rodgers must ensure his side possess the necessary cogs in the system to maintain their fine early-season form.
A left-back has been pinpointed as a primary area of interest, with Jose Enrique still sidelined, while augmenting an ever-improving midfield is also paramount to any hopes Liverpool have of gatecrashing the top four.
By sealing a move for a central defender, hopes may soon become reality.
image: © kong niffe