Jose Enrique Injury: Updates on Liverpool Star's Knee, Likely Return Date
Updates from Monday, Nov. 25:
The Reds' official website put a vague timeframe on Enrique's potential return, confirming he has played his last game of 2013:
Liverpool Football Club can confirm that Jose Enrique has successfully undergone arthroscopic surgery to resolve an issue with his right knee ...
Enrique is expected to return to full training at Melwood in around 10 weeks' time.
Updates from Thursday, Nov. 21:
Jose Enrique has been struggling for a little while with an injury.
He will probably need an operation. It’s a blow for us because he’s a very talented player.
A timeframe of two months has been placed on the player's return, per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:
Enrique expected to be out for 2 months with knee injury. #lfc— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) November 21, 2013
Updates from Monday, Nov. 11:
Enrique came on as a second-half substitute at Anfield and now plans to use the international break to fully recover, per Jack Wilson of the Daily Star:
I still feel a bit stiff. It's been quite a long time away and I'm still not feeling 100 per cent, but we have a break again and hopefully now I can carry on as Christmas is going to be very busy and I can be available.
I got a kick and had some bruising on the bone which gave me a lot of pain. When I trained for a couple of days it got tight around my knee and I couldn't train.
The month I was playing after that I was training only once a week because I couldn't train any more, so it has been difficult for me because, of course, you lose your fitness.
When he (manager Brendan Rodgers) had more players available - because (Aly) Cissokho was injured also - we decided to stop and rest my knee and hopefully it won't give me any more problems.
Update from Brendan Rodgers ahead of Liverpool's clash with Fulham, via James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:
We’re just waiting on Jose. He has trained and his knee is much better so we’ll hoping he will be available for the weekend.
That’s something we’ll assess in the next 24 hours. It will be great to have Jose back.
Liverpool full-back Jose Enrique is hoping to return to first-team action when Fulham visit Anfield this weekend.
Enrique has been struggling with a knee injury, which forced him to miss the recent Premier League encounter with Arsenal, per the Liverpool Echo's James Pearce.
Jose Enrique will miss #LFC trip to Arsenal. Still hampered by knee problem.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) October 31, 2013
The development will come as a blow to the Reds, with backup Aly Cissokho having started just two league matches for the club this campaign due to injury.
While he has plentiful experience at big clubs around Europe, it will still be a risk that Rodgers would rather not have taken in a match that will pit together two of the league's top three sides.
Cissokho, though, has generally done well when included thus far and spoke this week of his delight at playing in Rodgers' system.
Per Sportal, Cissokho said of his wing-back role in a 3-5-2:
It's a role I like a lot. I can get up the field a lot, whilst remaining safe in terms of the three behind me. We have three defenders in line as a flat back line, which gives me a lot of freedom.
My natural position is a left-sided defender, so this freedom allows me to give everything I can to the team.
Enrique's position within the Liverpool side has never been certain under Rodgers, so the injury gives Cissokho a great opportunity to stake a claim for more regular inclusion against Arsenal.
If he impresses in what is a big match for the club's ambitions this season, his manager will be hard-pushed to drop him upon Enrique's return. While not ideal, it will give Rodgers a great insight into whether Cissokho is ready to challenge for a regular starting berth.
He will need to impress, though, with indications being that Enrique's knock is relatively minor and that he will be expected to return next week.
It is opportunities such as this that top players take, however, and it is up to Cissokho to prove that he can be the player that Liverpool need. With his deal at the club only a one-year loan for now, such chances can be decisive as to whether or not his future lies at Anfield.
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