Fernando Torres To Return to Barcelona for Knee Injury Treatment

George HouseContributor IApril 16, 2010

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29:  Fernando Torres of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Liverpool at Villa Park on December 29, 2009 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Fernando Torres is due to return to Barcelona on Friday for further consultation on the knee injury which may curtail his involvement in Liverpool's attempts to win the Europa League and rescue their seemingly doomed pursuit of a Champions League slot.

Though Dr. Ramon Cugat, the Spanish specialist who performed the initial operation on Torres's damaged meniscus, suggested earlier this week that "five days' rest" would be enough to cure the complaint, sources at Liverpool admit the player has not yet been given a definitive prognosis.

Torres's return to Dr. Cugat's clinic all but rules him out of Liverpool's Premier League game against West Ham on Monday, though the player is believed to be desperate to play in Thursday's Europa League semifinal against Atletico Madrid.

The striker had returned to Merseyside to attend yesterday's all-ticket Hillsborough memorial service, marking the 21st anniversary of the disaster in which 96 Liverpool supporters died.

Around 10,000 mourners joined the Spain international, his teammates and a number of former players at Anfield to hear Margaret Aspinall, of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, warn that the work of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which is due to oversee the release of thousands of documents previously not made public, must not be "changed."

"Those 96 gave their lives for the safety of all of us," she said. "I don't know who will be in government on May 6, but I say to them now: do not change this process. We will lift the blanket [which covers] what happened at Hillsborough. And I say to the panel: give us what the fans and survivors deserve, and most importantly what the 96 deserve, and that is the truth, the real truth."