Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is facing at least five weeks on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on the groin injury he suffered in the Merseyside derby with Everton.
He had been lining up at centre-half once again in that contest, with cover required for other absent stars, but the England international has now joined the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez in the treatment room, and will not be seen again until April at the earliest.
What has been said?
The Reds have said in a statement on the club’s official website: “Liverpool can confirm Jordan Henderson has undergone an operation on the injury he sustained during last weekend's Merseyside derby with Everton.
“The captain was withdrawn after half-an-hour of the Anfield fixture having picked up a groin issue that left him unable to continue.
“Following further assessment with the club’s medical team, Henderson has successfully had a corrective procedure carried out on the adductor injury. He will begin a rehabilitation programme immediately.
“No specific timescale is being placed upon his return; however, the 30-year-old is ruled out initially until after the March international break.
“Henderson’s recovery will be closely monitored by the club’s medical department and his progression during his rehab work will determine when he is able to resume full training.”
Obviously gutted to have picked up an injury but will do everything I can to support the team while working on my rehab. https://t.co/UG3V89tsV1— Jordan Henderson (@JHenderson) February 26, 2021
How long will Henderson be out for?
While Liverpool will wait until after the next round of international action to assess Henderson’s recovery, the expectation is that he will be sidelined for between six and eight weeks.
He will not be rushed back into action, despite Jurgen Klopp being short on options in various areas of the field, with the reigning Premier League champions eager to avoid any further setbacks.
How many games will Henderson miss?
The Reds skipper will definitely be sitting out important fixtures at home and abroad.
Liverpool have a trip to Sheffield United and home dates with Chelsea and Fulham to take in before facing RB Leipzig on March 10 in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter.
Klopp’s men will then head into the international break on the back of a visit to Wolves.
Their first game back will see the Reds take on Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on April 3, before then playing host to Aston Villa.
If Henderson were to be missing for eight weeks, then he would also be absent for a trip to Leeds but could come back into contention ahead of a home date with Newcastle and a crunch clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford on May 1.
Goal view | Neil Jones | Liverpool correspondent
Liverpool have got used to bad news this season, haven't they?
They knew it would be a fair-sized lay-off for their captain from the moment he pulled up against Everton. Henderson is known for his willingness to play through pain, but there was no chance with this one.
Liverpool will miss him badly. He may not be a natural centre-back, and there are times recently when we've seen that, but his distribution, his aggression and his on-field leadership will need replacing. It's up to others to step up now.
We should see Ozan Kabak alongside either Nat Phillips or Ben Davies this weekend. New, untried partnerships, but then Liverpool are used to that as well.
They will hope Fabinho is back soon enough, James Milner too, but replacing Henderson will be a big ask. Liverpool's top-four hopes were fading anyway, but they've suffered another blow here.