ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: LIVERPOOL HOPE rest for Steven Gerrard during the upcoming international break will cure an infection in their captain’s right ankle.
Gerrard, who had only recently returned to fitness after a six-month absence caused by a groin problem, missed the victory at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and was subsequently pictured with his leg in a cast.
The midfielder has now been ruled out of England’s friendly matches against Spain and Sweden.
A Liverpool statement said: “Steven Gerrard has now undergone treatment to clear out all infection from his right ankle, which has been placed in a protective plaster cast.
“The player will not be available for this weekend’s game against Swansea City or for the upcoming England friendlies against Spain and Sweden. Steven will now continue his rehabilitation programme under the guidance of the club’s medical staff.”
Liverpool have not specified when they hope the 31-year-old can play again. The club’s clear wish is that no infection returns to the area which was initially caused by an apparently innocuous cut during training.
Dr Kal Parmar, a sports medicine specialist, believes Gerrard’s recovery should be relatively straightforward.
“I have read about the case and it is unusual for something like this simply to happen from a cut,” Dr Parmar said. “I think Steven has been unlucky for the injury to come about in this way.
“It sounds as though the cut has become infected and that has got into the ankle joint. From there, the joint would be washed out in a minor surgical procedure. There should be no complications from there, it is easily treated.
“The cast is put in place to prevent any infection from spreading. He should be fine; you have to keep on top of the cut, keep it clean and he will probably still be on some kind of antibiotics. But he should be back within the next week or two.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea have urged Hammersmith and Fulham Council to enter into “prompt” discussions about the viability of redeveloping Stamford Bridge after the local authority offered to reopen talks with the club over the issue.
The council released a statement yesterday morning reiterating their desire for Chelsea to stay put in the wake of Roman Abramovich’s failed bid to purchase the freehold of the club’s current home last week, something that was seen as a precursor to a move to a new 60,000-seater stadium.
Chelsea owner Abramovich was unable to convince supporter-led group Chelsea Pitch Owners – who the club sold the land beneath Stamford Bridge to in the 1990s to stave off property developers – to hand back the freehold and give the Blues the green light to relocate.
Chelsea, who have yet to decide whether to move, have been frustrated in their efforts to expand Stamford Bridge by a meaningful capacity at a cost that makes economic sense.
They would consider relocating to Earls Court or White City, which would keep them in the borough, while Battersea is a possible destination outside Hammersmith and Fulham.
The council, who recently agreed to grant Fulham planning permission to enlarge Craven Cottage, said in a statement: “In light of the recent decision by Chelsea Pitch Owners plc to retain its freehold of the ground, we reaffirm our desire to see Chelsea FC remain in the borough and our commitment to help the club to remain at its historic home of Stamford Bridge.
“We recognise that all our clubs will need greater capacity to accommodate growth in their fan bases. The council now proposes to examine whether there are planning options to expand Stamford Bridge to accommodate a larger capacity, recognising that such a project must be economically viable, benefit local businesses and not unreasonably affect residents.”