After the FA splashed out £500,000 for the expensive privilege of having Steven Gerrard‘s hamstrings plucked whilst on England duty last month, Liverpool have today been forced to confirm that their mercurial captain’s erstwhile stand-in, Jamie Carragher, is now also set for an elongated spell on the sidelines.
Unfortunately, Carragher has been tentatively ruled out until late February at the earliest, after a series of scans have revealed that the dislocated shoulder he sustained during the 2-1 defeat at Tottenham on Sunday will, as feared, require an operation to pin the joint back in place.
The man himself revealed the extent of the injury to the club’s official website:
“I’ll be having surgery at the end of the week and the average is about 12 weeks [out].
I’d like to come back before that but I’ve got to make sure it’s right. It will probably be late February or early March when I’m looking to come back.
It’s difficult for me when I’m injured. It hasn’t happened very often, and I’m very lucky with that I suppose, but maybe it’s caught up with me a little bit now.
I’m sure towards the end of the season when people are maybe feeling a little bit tired I’ll be raring to go.”
It was initially thought that Carragher may have been able to escape with a relatively short six-week lay-off, should surgery have been deemed unnecessary – but ‘scans is scans’ as sure as ‘eggs is eggs’, and so February it is.
As an aside, Gerrard is not expected to be sworn back into the first-team fold for another three-weeks, whilst Carragher’s defensive cohort Daniel Agger is (bar any further setbacks) pencilled in to recover from his ongoing calf problem at some point in mid-December – which is a disconcertingly vague prognosis in anyone’s book.
For an approximate period between 2004 and 2008 (ish), Carragher was quite rightly regarded as one of, if not the best ‘old fashioned’ (i.e immune to physical pain) centre-backs in the world.
For a defender with such obvious limitations to be held in such rarefied air was a testament to his unswerving commitment, impeccable last-ditch maneuvering and his undying loyalty to the club he joined as a mere slip-of-a-boy back in 1996.
‘Carragher the entity’ is undoubtedly a Liverpool legend – it would take one hell of an argument to convince people otherwise – but, at 32-years-old (and looking much older a lot of the time), these days he is undoubtedly an icon on the wane – arguably to the detriment of his legacy.
Without meaning to sound overly callous and disrespectful to man who has honestly earned the right to kiss his club’s badge without looking like an conceited little scheister, is it possible that a long-term injury to Carragher could prove beneficial in that it offers a timely opportunity to run the rule over his potential successors without having to face the inevitable uproar that dropping such a prominent stalwart would undoubtedly entail?
Summer signing Danny Wilson (18) is currently untried and eager, with fellow reserve team prospect Martin Kelly (20) thought to be equally as able in terms of stepping up to full-time senior duties – not to mention hirsute Grecian Sortiris Krygiakos, who has proved a more than able deputy during his short tenure at Anfield.
Moreover, his omission may prove an opportunity to examine whether his increasingly lumpen, ‘pink-faced after 30 minutes’ presence is actually a necessity within the Liverpool backline anymore.
In know it’s heresy bordering on blasphemy, but it’s just a thought.