Pepe Reina’s Hamstring Problem Could Keep Him Out of Premier League Game Against Reading


October 18, 2012

Pepe Reina's Hamstring Problem Could Keep Him Out of Premier League Game Against ReadingBrendan Rodgers has confirmed Liverpool will assess the fitness of Pepe Reina before deciding whether he can figure in Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Reading.

The goalkeeper picked up a hamstring complaint while on international duty with Spain, and the Reds will monitor the problem ahead of the Royals’ visit to Anfield.

“We’ll wait another 24 hours to see how he is,” Rodgers told his pregame news conference. “It’s nothing overly serious — he felt just a slight twinge in his hamstring at half-time in the game.

“I met him here last night about 7:15 p.m. All of our players coming back from international duty come here [Melwood] to be assessed and reported before they go back home.

“We had the checks on him and he had a scan this morning. It’s not overly-serious, but we just need to weigh up the risk in the next 24-48 hours.

“I think Spain picked up a few injuries. By all accounts the pitch wasn’t the best, and a number of them picked up muscle injuries.

“Speaking to Pepe last night, he very rarely has any muscle injuries, but hopefully it will prove not to be serious.

“He’s been wonderful since I came in here. He’s a good guy and one of the top goalkeepers in this league.

“It’s good for us that if he can’t play, we’ve got Brad Jones, who has made fantastic improvement since the beginning of the season and shows up every day of his life very well here.

“So if Pepe can’t play, we’ve got an able understudy who can come in and do very well, I’m sure.”

Reina was one of a number of Liverpool stars on international duty, but Rodgers is confident no other members of his squad picked up knocks while representing their countries.

“They’ve all been fine. Luis [Suarez] and Sebastian Coates are not back yet because it is a lot of travel. They were playing altitude in Bolivia and they will report back later this afternoon.

“Apart from that, I’ve spoken with Steven [Gerrard] and Glen[Johnson] this morning. They got back in the early hours of this morning and are recovering. Daniel Agger and Martin [Skrtel] are recovering as well.

“It was a great experience for Jonjo [Shelvey] as a young player to travel with the international team and make his first appearance.

“The mentality within the camp is very, very good and we’re really looking forward to getting going again at the weekend.”

Earlier this week, Liverpool confirmed Fabio Borini was to undergo an operation on a fracture in his foot.

Rodgers is confident the Reds will be able to manage in the absence of the Italian, who is expected to be sidelined for three months.

“There is nothing we can do,” he said. “I’ve got a number of talented players here and if the worst comes to the worst, I’ll need to shuffle the team around.

“It’s obviously disappointing. He’s a young player we’ve got faith in to progress over the next number of years.

“It’s ironic — this is the third year in a row he’s been injured in October and for three months. Last season when he was in Roma, he picked up a hamstring injury that kept him out for three months and the season before he picked up a shoulder injury in October and was out for three months.

“Maybe next October, we might just give him a holiday!”

“It’s not ideal, but that’s the card we’ve been dealt,” he added. “I’ve got terrific players here whose intentions in every game have been fantastic.

“It leaves us a bit short, there’s no getting away from that, but it’s what we’ve got so we’ll just crack on with what we’ve got and look to get positive performances and results.”

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