Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard may have to undergo surgery on his troublesome groin injury.
The 30-year-old has been battling the problem for several weeks and was not at 100% in the win over Manchester United this past weekend.
Gerrard was subsequently left out of the Reds squad that travelled to Portugal for tonight’s Europa League tie with Braga, and this has resulted in speculation that he may have to go under the knife in a bid to solve the injury.
However, manager Kenny Dalglish remains hopeful that the midfielder can avoid an operation.
He said: “For Steven and us it's a niggling problem to which we have to find a solution.
“Hopefully, it will be cleared up and he will be available for most matches. But everyone has to be carefully managed, whether they're fully fit or slightly fit.
“That's why we have a squad of players, because sometimes the most important ones are those who don't play as often as they'd like.
“There's no way we will speculate about any player, especially Steven. It's a problem that is minimal but needs to be fixed.”