Why Steven Gerrard Injury, Withdrawal from England Is Good News for Liverpool

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Why Steven Gerrard Injury, Withdrawal from England Is Good News for Liverpool
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Steven Gerrard scores for England against Poland last month to seal World Cup 2014 qualification.

Steven Gerrard will miss England's international friendly against Chile this Friday night, as the Red half of Merseyside breathes a big sigh of relief.

The BBC report today that Gerrard aggravated a hip injury during Liverpool's 4-0 victory over Fulham  Saturday, forcing him out of this Friday's game at Wembley.

The news, whilst a blow to Roy Hodgson's preparations for next year's World Cup, won't come as a major surprise, or concern, to Liverpool fans.

Rodgers was quoted by Gary Jones in the Daily Star after the Reds' recent defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates as revealing Gerrard had taken a knock to the hip.

The original news of his hip problem came with a sense of good timing in the minds of Liverpool fans, many feeling his 100 percent attendance record in games this season was taking its toll on the 33-year-old's body.

There had also been mounting criticism of Gerrard's performances, with his holding midfield role alongside Lucas Leiva diagnosed as a weak spot in Liverpool's team by Dave Usher for ESPN

Gerrard responded to the criticism and calls for him to be rested with arguably his best performance of the season so far against Fulham.

According to whoscored.com, Gerrard recorded a phenomenal 91 percent pass accuracy stat from his 75 passes.

He played a part in all four of Liverpool's goals: a wicked free-kick into the box that Fernando Amorebieta turned into his own net for the first, a pin-point corner that was met by a bullet header from Martin Skrtel for the second, starting a creative move to allow Jordan Henderson to set up Luis Suarez for the third and a peach of a weighted pass for Liverpool's fourth and Suarez's second after the break.

It's performances like Saturday that reminds those sceptical of his consistent place in the team how valuable his presence in the Liverpool side is.

Furthermore, it makes the news that he won't figure in at least one of England's two matches this international break positive for Liverpool fans, assuming his hip problem is easily treatable with a good dose of rest.

His withdrawal from England's match less than a week after his last for Liverpool demonstrates his undivided commitment to his club's cause, unwilling to risk further aggravating his hip injury.

Having played 1,173 minutes of football for Liverpool this season, according to LiverpoolFC.com, Gerrard's hip injury and subsequent time off could well be a blessing in disguise.

Before the Fulham game, Rodgers was quoted by Andy Hunter in the Guardian as urging Roy Hodgson to think twice before playing Gerrard, saying there are "absolutely times when you can rest him." Now it seems his concerns are being addressed.

Is Steven Gerrard's injury, and absence from England's game against Chile, a blessing in disguise for Liverpool?

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Providing Gerrard returns from international duty rested and recovered from injury, the timing of it could not be greater for Liverpool.

A tricky run of away games sees Rodgers take his men to Everton, Hull, Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea before the end of the year.

Gerrard will be needed to play his vital role in orchestrating as many points from those games and keeping Liverpool among the top four come January.

In the meantime, any rest for the Liverpool skipper is most welcome.

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