It is with great regret Liverpool must postpone their Premier League cavalry charge because Daniel Sturridge has handed in another doctor's note.
Sturridge is a fantastic footballer, but his latest injury underlines the risks of expecting his return to be the catalyst for a Liverpool revival.
For the last two weeks it has felt like Liverpool were preparing to re-arm with the help of a striker who can actually score goals but, not for the first time, just as they were readying to raise those swords and sprint into battle, they have been halted by the sound of a groan up ahead, their charismatic front man limping away holding his calf or thigh.
"Those darn genetics. They've struck again," is the not-so inspirational rally cry.
Brendan Rodgers has warned of Sturridge's absenteeism so much, this can't be dismissed as mere bad luck. Put aside the despair, it is hardly a surprise.
The concern is how much worse will it get without him? Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini have not scored a Premier League goal this season, and when you ally this to a defence which has added the derogatory adjective 'Lovren-esque' to the Anfield vernacular, you're left with a team deservedly in the bottom half of the table.
It has reached the point where Rodgers might as well presume Sturridge is not coming to the rescue any time soon and, by the time we do see him back in a Liverpool shirt, there may not be much left to play for unless there is a radical upturn in form.
It would not matter if Sturridge was the greatest Liverpool striker since Ian Rush, he is - as Bill Shankly once put it about injured players - a 'bloody menace' when not available.
If you can't trust your star striker to be fit there is no option but to look elsewhere. Liverpool must sign another striker in January. In fact, it's hard to recall the last time the club was so urgently in need of a new No 9.
Even during relatively barren spells they could rely on Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez to inspire victories.
Much maligned figures such as Djibril Cisse and Emile Heskey were world beaters in comparison to the current crop.
Go further down the food chain and those considered flops beyond Anfield were far more effective than credited. In 2000, Liverpool had successive games against Leeds United (home), Arsenal (away) and Manchester United (away) - the clubs finishing in the top three that season.
The only front two available were Erik Meijer and Titi Camara. Liverpool beat Leeds and Arsenal and drew with United. Give Rodgers those two at Crystal Palace this weekend and you'll get work rate (Meijer) and a goal threat (Camara). Show Mario the videos and he will learn plenty, Brendan.
For all the (justified) focus on their defence and imbalance in midfield, Liverpool have never looked so bereft upfront, which is mindboggling considering they spent £120 million a few months ago, including £30m on three new strikers (one of which - Divock Origi - remains in France until July).
Now they've created a dilemma and a mess due to the failure to prepare and adapt to Luis Suarez's exit. There will be a premium to pay in January - especially as everyone can see how desperate they are - but Liverpool insist the money is there if it is required. If that is the case, it is inconceivable it won't be used, even if this will be interpreted as public acceptance serious errors were made in the summer. After the miserable defeat to Chelsea exposed the gulf in spending habits, Liverpool's transfer committee members ought to have used recent weeks practising the skill of pulling rabbits out of hats.
Rodgers's ambitions for the current campaign are in danger of being re-evaluated on a weekly basis, and yet the equally erratic form of their rivals still offers hope.
A year of consolidation in the top four, progression into the knockout stages of the Champions League and the collection of the first trophy of the Rodgers era was the ambition last August.
The Liverpool manager can argue all remain achievable despite a turgid campaign thus far, but it is the regression of Liverpool's playing style to that of 2009-12, as much as the results, that has caused a disturbance.
This latest season of transition was supposed to be one of a club within the top four preparing for a title bid next season, not of a side that nearly won it a year ago returning to the pack in readiness for its next Champions League qualification bid.
Liverpool have spent this year in Europe looking like they've returned to the elite competition too soon, while convincing no-one they are anywhere but Uefa's short-stay car park.
Sturridge's comeback was meant to change all this. He was to signal a return to the fluidity witnessed just once this season - when Liverpool hammered Spurs at White Hart Lane.
His latest scan will determine if he will be out for little while longer or until the New Year, but in the broader interests of the club it has now reached the point where - even when he is fit - Liverpool must consider his availability a bonus and prepare for the next setback. It was the player himself who said it could be in his DNA.
When Suarez was sold, Sturridge was in prime position to be Liverpool and England's leading man. Call it circumstances or pure misfortune, but it is not happening for him and clubs of ambition can not afford to wait. Liverpool must do what it takes in January to do what they failed to in August - identify and sign a striker who fits Rodgers style, with a proven track record for scoring goals at the highest level.
If they fail to do so, they might as well settle down and re-adjust to life in mid-table.