Monday, August 27, 2007

Lucky Escape For Carragher

Jamie Carragher narrowly avoided suffering a collapsed lung during Liverpool’s 2-0 victory away to Sunderland. An X-ray yesterday revealed that the defender suffered a broken rib, but, more alarmingly, that he developed a pneumothorax, a condition synonymous with a collapsed lung.

The club confirmed that Carragher will miss the second leg of Liverpool’s Champions League third qualifying round tie at home to Toulouse tomorrow, when his team start with a 1-0 lead, but he may face a longer layoff. A pneumothorax, caused by an accumulation of air in the pleural cavity, could have been more serious. Carragher was described last night as being “in good spirits”.

Rafael Benítez, the Liverpool manager, will be relieved that Sami Hyypia has been declared fit to face Toulouse after breaking his nose against Sunderland. Central defence is an area where Liverpool’s much-vaunted strength in depth is lacking, which is one reason why Benítez was so disappointed to see Gabriel Heinze, who can operate at left back or in central defence, move from Manchester United to Real Madrid last week.

It is possible that Benítez will intensify his search for reinforcements before the transfer window closes on Friday, having sold Gabriel Paletta, the Argentine defender, to Boca Juniors for an undisclosed fee. As part of the deal, Emiliano Insúa, the 18-year-old left back, turned his loan move to Anfield from Boca into a permanent transfer.

Champions League: LiverpooL vs Toulouse

Injury-hit sides, Liverpool and Toulouse will lock horns in the second-leg of Champions League Third Qualifying round at Anfield On Tuesday.

The Reds have the advantage having won the first-leg away courtesy Andriy Voronin goal. However, it was the match that saw skipper Steven Gerrard suffer from a hairline fracture of his toe and that has apparently not healed as the commanding midfielder misses out.

Centre-back and stand-in skipper Jamie Carragher is also out as he suffered a broken rib in 2-0 win over Sunderland in the Premiership on Saturday.

The French side also have key players namely Dominique Arribage, Daniel Congre and Albin Ebondo missing out with injuries.

The Reds boss Rafa Benitez said on Monday: "Both players (Steven & Jamie) will not be available for this game.

“It's a shame because they are both important players for us, but we have enough players and enough competition within the squad to cope.

"Carra is improving which is good news. I need to talk to the doctor to find out more and to see how long he will be out for.

"It's clear that with Steven we need to take care of him. He could be available for the game at the weekend but we'll have to see. Again I will need to talk to the doctor first because I don't want to run the risk of losing him for a long time.

"This week we will keep him training and keep him fit and then see about the Derby game on Saturday."

On brighter side for the Merseysiders, centre-back Sami Hyypia, who had a broken nose from the Stadium of Light clash, will be fit to play tomorrow.

"I think he will be okay," added Benitez. "The break was in the right place and so I don't think it will be a problem for him.

"We have Sami and Daniel Agger available and we can also use Arbeloa as a centre back so we have enough players in that position."