This season has seen Liverpool players suffer injury after injury, the
most memorable being the serious fracture to Djbril Cisee’s leg earlier
in the season. Chris Kirkland has missed most of the season, Harry
Kewell has struggled, Steven Gerrard broke a bone in his foot – the
list is long.
Another player injured is Xabi Alonso. A tackle from Frank Lampard
caused a broken ankle for Alsonso in the match on New Years’ Day.
Lampard protested his innocence that day, disputing his yellow card,
despite the replays showing that he may have been lucky to get away
with the yellow card. Meanwhile Alonso tried to play on, eventually
having to concede the pain was too great.
Alsonso was making a name for himself at the time, a player that did a
lot to help Liverpool through their time without Gerrard, and a player
who seemed to have the right combination of skill, intelligence and
motivation. It was a big blow when he got the injury, and the prognosis
at the time was that was the end of his season.
This looks set to change though – Rafael Benitez says that the
23-year-old could actually be playing again in time for the second-leg
of the Champions League quarter-final. Says Benitez: "If everything
continues OK, I hope Xabi will be in full training by the last week of
March. He will be like a new, very important player for us. Maybe Xabi
will be available for the second game of the quarter-final which will
be on 12 or 13 April."
Alonso was signed from Real Sociedad in the summer for £10.5m, and
would give Liverpool a major boost in their push for a place in the
Champions Leagues semis and in trying to close the gap on Everton for
fourth place. Benitez is hopeful this will happen: "He is improving a
lot. If he’s back training with the rest of the squad by the end of the
month, like we hope, he has a good chance."