Glen Johnson to miss start of season, but Luis Suarez could be back
GLEN JOHNSON will miss the start of the season – but Luis Suarez could be thrown straight back into the Liverpool line-up this weekend.
Johnson is expected to be sidelined for a fortnight following scans on the thigh problem that forced him to limp off after just seven minutes of the friendly win against Valencia on Saturday.
The right-back was immediately ruled out England’s friendly with Holland tomorrow, and will now miss the visit of Sunderland on Saturday and the trip to Arsenal seven days later.
It further limits Kenny Dalglish’s full-back options, with Fabio Aurelio having only played 45 minutes during pre-season to leave youngsters Martin Kelly, John Flanagan and Jack Robinson most likely vying for the two starting roles. There was better news in the form of Suarez returning to training at Melwood yesterday having helped Uruguay lift the Copa America a fortnight earlier.
Liverpool manager Dalglish planned talks with the striker over his fitness, and it appears almost certain Suarez will be involved in some capacity at the weekend.
Martin Skrtel is unlikely to be available, the centre-back is stepping up his recovery from a calf problem.
“In the last few days I have been running on a treadmill and even did some jogging outdoors,” said the Slovakian.
“I believe that everything will go according to plan and I will soon be fully fit.
“I am expecting to be able to increase the burden every day and hopefully join the team as soon as possible. However, everything depends on how the leg will react.”
Skrtel has been forced to watch on as summer signings Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam have acclimatised themselves to their new surroundings.
And the defender believes all three can be a success.
“I’ve been familiar with Stewart since I played against him a couple of years ago,” said Skrtel. “I was at right-back and he was on the wing giving me a really hard time.
“Charlie had a great season with Blackpool and I am really glad he is here.
“Jordan is still very young but he has already won a call-up to the national side which speaks for itself.”
Meanwhile, Alberto Aquilani’s agent has confirmed there has been no contact from AC Milan to sign the Liverpool midfielder.
Aquilani’s agent, Franco Zavaglia, said: “At the moment, Milan haven’t made a move.”
Promoted Swansea City are ready to rival Hull City for the signature of Liverpool centre-back Daniel Ayala.