Agger out for weeks as Reds head for south coast

LIVERPOOL are set to be without the services of Daniel Agger for at least six weeks after news that the Danish international broke two ribs on Sunday at White Hart Lane.

Kenny Dalglish played the injury down somewhat, telling “Daniel has got a fractured rib, so he’s struggling a bit.”

However the player’s agent, Per Steffensen, was more descriptive and said it was two ribs, not one: “It’s the worst possible news,” he told “He’s broken two ribs, and he must keep still for four weeks. Daniel is way down now and I certainly sympathise with him. He will miss the two matches against Cyprus and Portugal [for Denmark] and there is a match against Manchester United he also misses. It’s insanely annoying.”

The agent refered to the need for Agger to be “kept still” for four weeks but it could be at least six weeks before he can even return to full training, let alone turn out for the first team. According to The Nursing Times, even if there is just one rib broken, he’s got some painful waiting to do: “Any strenuous activities should be avoided for the first three to four weeks following the fracture, but after this, physical exercise can be undertaken as pain allows. No attempt should be made by a patient to participate in contact sports for six weeks so as to avoid the possibility of further damage.”

Tomorrow night sees Liverpool face Brighton in the Carling Cup and however many changes Kenny Dalglish had planned to make for the fixture he’s going to have to make at least three. Agger of course is one of those changes but Martin Skrtel and Charlie Adam are suspended after their red cards on Sunday.

Kenny took the last round seriously and seems set to do the same in this game, refusing to underestimate Brighton, so this won’t just be an outing for the reserves. “We’re pleased to be in the Carling Cup and our intention is to stay in it for as long as we possibly can; we’ll have a strong team out tomorrow night and we’ll treat it in the same manner as we treated the Exeter game. If we go there with the same attitude then we will give ourselves the best chance to win.

“Brighton are doing fantastically well after getting promotion and were sitting on top of the table until they lost to Leicester. It will be a difficult game. We’ve got to get ourselves right, concentrate on ourselves, do our homework on Brighton and take it forward from there. We’ll approach it properly and professionally.”

Kenny may choose to recall John Flanagan at right-back, a surprise omission even from the bench on Sunday. Jack Robinson did make the bench for that match and could get a start ahead of Jose Enrique for this one. Centre-backs are likely to be Carragher and Coates; it would be Coates’s first start for the club. Martin Kelly, if fit, could come into consideration either at full-back or in the centre of defence but Glen Johnson is still a few weeks away from returning from his latest hamstring setback.

One player who will make a comeback tomorrow night is Steven Gerrard. The club captain is expected to play for half of the game having been out since the spring following groin surgery. Craig Bellamy looks set to get his first start since he returned to the club and Andy Carroll is also expected to start as he bids to find his form and silence his critics.

There was a lot to be critical of on Sunday but Kenny said that there was little more to add about what went wrong than had already been said. He did take time to praise the travelling Reds whose support on Sunday, singing until the end, didn’t go unnoticed: “For us the best part of the day was the support we got. The fans supported us fantastically and I think the boys will bear that in mind and look forward to repaying them in some way.

“I think we have exhausted Sunday with what we’ve said. It didn’t please anybody and the players were really disappointed. We don’t think we played well, even with eleven men we didn’t play well. We’ll look to do the best we possibly can in every game, we won’t always play well but we will always try our best.”