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The Scot praised the club's medical staff after they discovered the seriousness of his most recent fitness problem and insisted the midfielder would not be rushed back

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has revealed that he feared captain Steven Gerrard's ankle infection might have proved to be a career threatening injury.

The midfielder has not played for the Reds since scoring against Manchester United in a draw at Anfield in October and had suffered from injury problems last season.

Dalglish expressed his relief that the England international’s ankle problem was treated in time to ensure his recovery and praised the club's medical team.

“If it wasn’t dealt with properly, it could have been more serious. But he had fantastic treatment. It’s been sorted, it’s been solved," Dalglish was reported as saying in The Mirror.

“It was a one-off, not relevant to anything else he’s had, so the credit goes to the people who identified the problem.

“I think it’s getting easier for him now. The hard part was when he was first injured. It was just a freak.

“He’s done unbelievably well. He does have a really strong character. He’s come through and he’s desperate to play.”

Liverpool are currently sixth in the Premier League table following this weekend’s 2-0 victory against Aston Villa and have a Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester City in the New Year.

Despite the amount of fixtures coming up and the importance of his skipper to his plans, Dalglish insisted he would not rush the 31-year-old back into action until he is fully fit.

He continued: “We always say, when we have him fit we’ll have a much stronger squad of players, so we will be better off when he’s ready to come back.

“The boys will be glad to see him back on the training pitch and on the pitch on match days as well. But we won’t put him under any pressure or give any deadlines to make his return.”

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