Defender Martin Skrtel is expected to be out for the rest of the year at least, after suffering damage to his PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) in the 3-2 win over Man City on Sunday.
The PCL is one of the main ligaments in the knee and although it is thought to be one of the strongest ligaments in the knee (the ACL is more commonly damaged) it accounts for around 20% of all knee injuries.
Typically, cruciate knee injuries require 6 months before returning to competitive sport, with the player not being able to run and work in the gym properly until 3 months after surgery.
No timescale has been set by the club yet for Skrtel’s return, with the Slovakian international meeting with a specialist on Tuesday morning. Spokesman Ian Cotton said “He will see a specialist on Tuesday to assess the extent of the injury. We will then have an accurate idea of the timescales involved before he is back playing again.”
Skrtel’s injury will now open up an opportunity for fellow centre backs Daniel Agger and Sami Hyypia. With Hyypia not registered for Europe, Agger will begin all Champions League games alongside Jamie Carragher in the Reds’ defence, while Hyypia may get a chance in some Premiership games.
Agger had recently been linked with a move to Real Madrid in January, that now seems almost certain not to come to fruition.
It is fortunate that Rafa Benitez has assembled such a strong squad at the club where we have impressive cover for such occurances as this. When Man United‘s Nemandja Vidic was suspended last month, youngster Jonny Evans was required to replace him.
Update: It has been reported in the Slovakian media that his agent has said he has suffered a pulled and slightly torn ligament. If it is only slightly torn, he should return much faster, possibly 2-3 months.