Torres could be fit to start season
Fernando Torres could be fit for the start of the 2010/11 Premier League after Liverpool delivered a positive update on his latest injury today. The striker pulled up abruptly with a groin problem in the closing stages of Spain's extra-time victory over the Netherlands in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ Final on Sunday.
That sparked fears the 26-year-old, who was plagued by injuries last season, could be set for another lengthy lay-off, but a scan has suggested he could be back in three weeks. Having been granted three weeks off anyway due to his FIFA World Cup involvement, Torres's absence may not be as keenly felt as first feared.
He will definitely miss the two legs of their UEFA Europa League qualifier, but the Premier League opener against Arsenal on 15 August could now be in his sights. Torres was booked in for a scan by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on his return to Madrid, and that revealed the injury to be a grade one rupture of the inner left thigh.
Liverpool have now looked at the injury themselves and head of sports science and medicine Peter Brukner told the club's official website: "The initial assessment was he had a mild adductor tear and the Spanish medial staff didn't consider it to be too serious at the time.
"He had an MRI scan yesterday which confirmed a small tear. He should be able to resume training within two to three weeks and be able to play again within three to four weeks."
Torres still finished as Liverpool's top scorer last season with 22 goals, despite a campaign in which he was troubled by a groin problem and required two knee operations. After missing the last four games of the season he returned to action to feature at South Africa 2010, but endured a difficult tournament on a personal level, failing to score. He was left on the bench for the semi-final and Final, and had been on the field just ten minutes on Sunday when the injury occurred.
On the bright side for Liverpool, his problems at least appear to have dampened speculation over his future. Torres has been regularly linked with a big-money move away from Anfield, with Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea all suggested as potential destinations.
The player's gesture in celebrating FIFA World Cup success by wearing a Liverpool scarf has also been well received at the club. Torres was one of four Liverpool players in the FIFA World Cup Final along with Spanish team-mate Jose Reina and Dutch pair Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel.
Manager Roy Hodgson said: "I think it's safe to say the pictures of Fernando in the dressing room with the World Cup certainly went down well with our fans, but the club can be proud of all the players who went away to the World Cup. To have four players reach the Final is an incredible achievement and I look forward to working with them when they return to Melwood after their holidays."
Hodgson today travelled to a pre-season training camp in Switzerland with the players who have already returned from their summer breaks.