Headache for Rodgers as Lucas Leiva ruled out for two months
Brendan Rodgers' mission to secure a Champions League place has suffered a blow after Lucas Leiva was ruled out for up to two months with a knee injury.
The Brazil international is facing at least six weeks on the sidelines after a scan revealed he has damaged his medial ligaments. The midfielder left Anfield on crutches after Saturday's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa, picking up the injury 20 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute and is not expected to return until the beginning of March.
It means Rodgers will be preparing for two potentially pivotal games against Merseyside rivals Everton and league leaders Arsenal without one of his key men.
Rodgers, meanwhile, is planning for the future by assessing transfer targets for this summer and will send a Liverpool scout to watch Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Karl Darlow in Friday's FA Cup tie against Preston North End.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Anelka is facing the prospect of a 10-match ban after the FA charged him yesterday over an alleged racist gesture, and West Brom have warned the forward that he must pay for his own legal representation.
Anelka will be punished with a lengthy suspension if found guilty for the alleged 'quenelle', dubbed a Nazi salute in reverse, and has been told to appoint his own lawyer as he considers whether to appeal before tomorrow's 6.0pm deadline.(© Daily Telegraph, London)