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Reds blow as Gerrard sidelined 3 weeks

  • Story Highlights
  • Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard ruled out three weeks with torn hamstring
  • Midfielder lasted just 16 minutes of 1-0 FA fourth round defeat at Everton
  • Will miss two Reds matches and England's friendly international in Spain
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(CNN) -- Skipper Steven Gerrard dealt Liverpool's trophy chase another desperate blow on Thursday when he was ruled out for three weeks with a torn hamstring.

Liverpool are reeling from the loss of skipper Gerrard for at least three weeks with a torn hamstring.

Liverpool are reeling from the loss of skipper Gerrard for at least three weeks with a torn hamstring.

The England midfielder lasted just 16 minutes of the 1-0 extra time FA fourth round defeat at Merseyside rivals Everton and scans later showed the extent of the problem.

Gerrard is expect to miss the Premier League matches against Portsmouth on Saturday and Manchester City on February 22, as well as England's friendly international against Spain next Wednesday.

His availability for the Champions League last-16 first leg tie against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu on February 25 is also in big doubt.

"A scan has confirmed a tear in the hamstring of Steven's left leg. He will be out of action for about three weeks," said a club spokesman.

Liverpool struggled once influential Gerrard had gone off and his absence is a major setback as the Reds try to catch league leaders Manchester United, who have a two-point advantage with a game in hand.

Striker Fernando Torres, whose partnership with Gerrard provides the team's cutting edge, looked to suffer a reaction to his recent scoring and went off in extra time.

Manager Rafael Benitez sold Robbie Keane to former club Tottenham during the transfer window and his side could now lack a vital cutting edge.

Regarding Gerrard, Benitez told PA Sport: "He is an important player for us. It is always more difficult to play without him. You can't change things so it is better to concentrate on the next game.

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"We have some problems with injuries and Portsmouth will be tough so we need players with fresh legs."

Benitez says Liverpool must now re-focus on the competitions they can still win.

"We won against Chelsea (2-0 last Sunday) and deserved to win," he added. "We are out of the cup so maybe we will have more time and the players will not play too many games so will be ready for the Champions League and Premier League.

"We are in a very good position. It was disappointing yesterday but the team showed great character and for me that was the positive thing."

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