Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will miss Tuesday’s crucial Champions League tie against Toulouse at Anfield and there is already a doubt over his involvement with England for two vital Euro 2008 qualifiers next month.
The hairline fracture of a toe which caused him to miss last week’s international friendly with Germany and the 2-0 Premier League victory at Sunderland on Saturday has ruled Gerrard out of the third qualifying round second leg against the French.
Gerrard sustained the injury when Liverpool won 1-0 in France almost a fortnight ago but played against Chelsea five days later with a pain-killing injection.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is hopeful his captain will have recovered enough to face Derby at the weekend but made no promises – and should the player miss that match his participation for England against Israel and Russia would be in question.
“I would hope Steven will be a possibility to play against Derby but I am not sure, it is up to the doctors,” said Benitez.
“Then we will have to see about England. It is too soon yet, it will depend very much on what England’s medical people feel and our own medical staff.”
England boss Steve McClaren will name his squad on Friday and Gerrard will definitely be included, but he must fear another club v country battle.
Jamie Carragher will also be missing against Toulouse after the defender spent Sunday night in hospital after sustaining a broken rib and collapsed lung at the Stadium of Light.
“Jamie will definitely be out but the injury is not as bad as it sounds. He may miss a couple of weeks, we will see,” added the Liverpool manager.
Benitez will have defender Sami Hyypia available despite the Finn breaking a nose at Sunderland, with Alvaro Arbeloa a possible stand in at centre-back.