BBC Sport football

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 15:14 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 16:14 UK

Torres ruled out for '10-15 days'

Fernando Torres
Torres scored four goals in his last two league matches for Liverpool

Fernando Torres will miss Liverpool's next three matches after a scan revealed he has a hamstring injury that will sideline him for 10-15 days.

The Spain striker suffered the injury in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Belgium, limping off after 16 minutes.

Torres, 24, will miss Premier League matches against Wigan and Chelsea either side of a Champions League game at his former club Atletico Madrid.

"I am very disappointed about this," said Benitez on Thursday.

He also hinted he would want answers from the Spanish authorities about the injuries Torres has picked up on international duty.

Benitez said: "With us, Fernando has had one hamstring injury in 18 months. We need to check why there is a difference with Spain.

"For me the reason is too many games. He played two games in five days, one of them against a country who are not of the top standard. It can be avoided, maybe a better selection.

"Fernando wanted to play next week in Madrid, which will now not happen. His injury is probably the worst he could have had. It is a very bad situation for us, and it is not the first time it has happened."

Torres, Liverpool's top scorer last season in his first year with the club, may even miss a fourth game - the Premier League match against Portsmouth at Anfield on 29 October.

There are too many international games, and the demands on the players are too much

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez

The Spaniard has struggled with hamstring problems before, most recently at the beginning of September when he was sidelined for the international break after tearing the muscle in the goalless draw against Aston Villa.

Another Liverpool forward, Ryan Babel, damaged his ankle playing for the Netherlands in their 1-0 win in Norway.

Babel, who missed Euro 2008 with ankle ligament problems, played no further part in Wednesday's match after he went down under a tackle from Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen on 26 minutes.

With Liverpool, second in the Premier League, facing a number of important games in the coming weeks, Benitez is disappointed to lose key players and has voiced his discontent at the international schedule.

"To lose any players is a big blow," he said.

"There are too many international games, and the demands on the players are too much. Someone needs to analyse this situation, because it is putting the players at risk of injury."

Details concerning Babel's injury remain unclear as he is yet to be examined by club doctors.

Liverpool midfielder and fellow Spaniard Xabi Alonso told the club website that Torres' injury was a blow: "It is undoubtedly bad news.

"We have to wait and see what the tests say, but we do not stop now until around Christmas, and we have a big calendar coming up - we cannot let up.

"It is not the first time this has happened [to Torres] with the national side, and it is a blow to have an injury when he is in such a good streak of form."

see also
Torres confident of title charge
27 Sep 08 |  Liverpool
Torres expects Keane to come good
19 Sep 08 |  Liverpool
Torres faces three-week lay-off
01 Sep 08 |  Liverpool
Kuyt backs Torres to sustain form
21 Aug 08 |  Liverpool
Torres - the making of a legend
30 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites