Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso suffered further setbacks today in their returns from injury.
Torres is believed to have aggravated an injury to a groin muscle and could be out for up to 4 weeks. Xabi who has already missed around 6 weeks with foot injuries looks set to be absent until possibly the Christmas period after suffering a suspected recurrence of his broken metatarsal.
Torres was withdrawn at half time while Xabi managed 68 minutes. Liverpool still have a degree of depth in central midfield, but with injuries to Jermaine Pennant it will be a time for the squad system to be tested to it’s fullest extent.
Up front the reds also have plenty of options, although Torres has been the reds most lethal striker so far.
“Alonso has suffered the same injury again, the metatarsal, he felt something go in his foot,” Benitez said. “Torres also has a similar injury, a problem with an abductor muscle.
“Maybe he is not as bad as before. But he could not work as hard as we wanted, we wanted his pace and it was not available.
Benitez admitted that on reflection it was an error to start with Fernando.
“He just was not fit. We talked beforehand and he said he was fine. Now we must wait again, he had been out for some time and we have been pushing to get him back, but he has not been right and he still is not right.
“We will need to check them all before we have any idea how long they will be out.”