Brendan Rodgers has provided an update on the injuries currently affecting his Liverpool squad ahead of heavyweight encounters against Manchester City and Chelsea later this week.

At a Melwood press conference on Tuesday, the manager reported one fresh fitness concern - with defender Jon Flanagan to be assessed before the Reds' trip to the Etihad Stadium.

He told reporters: "Our squad is very thin at the moment, 17 players - which is unfortunate for us coming into a busy period. We just have to assess young Jon Flanagan.

"Leading into the game against Cardiff he had a tight hamstring for a few days. He was fit enough to start and play; he felt it a little bit in the game so obviously we had to take him off.

"We just need to assess how that is over the next 24 hours. At the moment, none of the guys who have been out have returned, so we're quite thin on the ground."

Regular first-team players Jose Enrique, Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge are three men currently on the sidelines, with knee, hamstring and ankle issues respectively.

Rodgers was asked for the latest news regarding the condition of the trio and responded: "They are still aligned to come back in the timeline that was set.

"Steven is working really well on the field, he may be the one that might be back a little bit sooner because his work has been excellent. He has been getting round-the-clock treatment.

"Jose Enrique was four weeks last Thursday, I believe, from his operation. So he has still got a bit of time. And Daniel is progressing well, but it is still going to be into January before he will be back."

With the January transfer window set to open in eight days' time, it was put to the Northern Irishman that he may take the chance to strengthen his options next month.

The boss said: "That's something that will take place in the coming weeks. If we have 17 players, we would need to strengthen the group. We'll assess it after the Christmas period.

"There's nothing we can do now about it, so I'm not going to worry so much about that. There is work going on behind the scenes, looking at recruitment of players that can come in and improve the team; if we can do that in January, great.

"If not, we've got a team that's very committed and very focused here to continue what has been an excellent year for us."


Defender Martin Kelly replaced Flanagan for the final 35 minutes of Liverpool's 3-1 victory over Cardiff City on Saturday, as he continues his comeback from long-term injury.

Rodgers described the No.34 as 'a valuable player' within the group and explained why every member of the squad should be prepared to take any opportunity they are handed.

"He's working very hard in training," the 40-year-old concluded. "All of the players know it is something I look very closely at, their training mentality and how they are working.

"Then obviously if they get a chance, whether it's for 10 minutes or 30 minutes in a game, they have got to go in and show that they are willing to take that opportunity.

"He said himself he's over the injury now. It's now about him performing to a level that can see him get the opportunity. He's a good guy, I like him a lot.

"He's gone through a lot with his injury and that just takes that bit of time before psychologically and physically you feel ready to play. If he's on his game, 100 per cent, then of course he's a very valuable player for us."