It turns out that Jordan Henderson was actually carrying a problem all week, but insisted on starting our match against Bournemouth on Monday evening.
Our skipper was withdrawn for Emre Can at the start of the second half though, and now faces a race against time to be ready for the Arsenal clash.
“He had a problem with the bottom of his foot,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. “He hadn’t trained for part of the week.
“He was taking some painkillers with it, and did ever so well to even be out on the field.
“He wanted to give it a go, but you could see he was limited in his running.
“He did great for us when he was on the pitch, but it’s important we have fit players on the field, and unfortunately he was just in too much pain.”
It seems strange that Rodgers would have risked Henderson so early in the season unless the problem wasn’t serious, especially with Can a more than capable natural replacement option.
Our skipper looked frustrated rather than anything else upon his departure, and if the injury was serious – he firstly wouldn’t have come out for the second-half, and secondly would have looked distraught rather than annoyed when leaving to the rousing farewell given to him by the Anfield crowd.
Against Arsenal, Henderson’s energy and enthusiasm will be key to our chances of picking up anything at the Emirates. He, as well as James Milner, have the ability to press Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin at the base of midfield relentlessly.
In all likelihood for the trip to North London, Rodgers will add an extra midfielder for stability, with Can the natural choice. The aforementioned trio will be key to our chances of a result, and hopefully Arsenal will be more indulged in their endless pursuit of a striker before the end of the transfer window than the result.
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