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Gerrard to miss World Cup qualifiers

August 28, 2008 09:35 IST

Steven Gerrard is to have surgery on his groin that is likely to rule him out of England's opening two World Cup qualifiers next month, manager Rafa Benitez said on Wednesday.

- Kuyt takes Liverpool to Champions League

Gerrard played in Liverpool's 1-0 win over Standard Liege that put them in the Champions League group stage but is now expected to be out of action for 10 to 15 days.

Speaking after Dirk Kuyt's goal three minutes before the end of extra time earned Liverpool a 1-0 aggregate victory in the third qualifying round tie, Benitez said: "Steven has a groin problem and he will have an operation.

"He has been playing some games in pain. He has not been fit and we decided this week the best moment for the operation is after this game," he told reporters.

England play away to Andorra on September 6 and visit Croatia four days later in Group Six qualifiers.

"He had problems in the first leg of the game against Liege and he had a problem when he was away with England for their friendly against the Czech Republic," Benitez said.

"We talked with the doctor yesterday and today and it was decided that Steve would play in this match with the pain but now will have to have the situation resolved.

"He has been playing games when he was not 100 per cent and we decided this was the moment for the operation."

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