Rafa: Gerrard breaks toe but still available

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has broken his toe – but should still be able to play against Chelsea on Sunday.

Gerrard limped off before the end of yesterday’s Champions League qualifier against Toulouse, although Rafa claimed he’s replaced Gerrard for the sake of introducing fresh legs, not because of injury concerns. Gerrard had ice applied to his foot in the dressing room and went for an x-ray today. This revealed he’d suffered a hairline fracture.

Rafa Benítez later spoke of the injury and how he’s weighing up the pros and cons of utilising his captain in one of the season’s bigger games: “He has a hairline fracture in his toe. I think he will be available for the weekend. The only problem is, if we push him now, he might need a little bit of a rest afterwards. I was talking to the doctor and he said it is not a big risk for him to play, though there is always some risk.”

The risk in playing Gerrard isn’t just in how his injury fares, but also in how well he can perform with the injury. Pain-killing injections may be enough, but Rafa needs to consider his options. He did hint quite strongly that although he may be willing to risk Steven for a major league match, he’s not keen on him being used in England’s friendly next week: “If we want to push him for this game, it would be a risk to push him again and again, because it could become more serious. I still need to talk to Steve McLaren but I think he will understand it would be a big risk.”