STEVEN GERRARD won’t make his long awaited Liverpool comeback in Sunday’s clash at Tottenham.
The Reds skipper had pencilled in the capital showdown for a possible return after six months on the sidelines but the trip to White Hart Lane has come too soon for him to be considered.
Gerrard has only been back in full training at Melwood for a week and it’s been decided he needs more time before being thrown into Premier League action.
The 31-year-old now has his sights set on playing a part in next Wednesday’s Carling Cup tie at Championship outfit Brighton as he looks to build up his match fitness.
Boss Kenny Dalglish has vowed not to take any chances with his captain and will monitor him closely before making a decision over his participation against the Seagulls.
The club’s medical staff remain delighted with the rapid progress Gerrard has made since the treatment he underwent last month for an infection related to the career-saving groin surgery he had in April.
Gerrard, whose last appearance for the Reds was against Manchester United on March 6, recently told the ECHO the operation had been a big success and he was confident he would recapture the breathtaking form which has lit up Anfield for the past 13 years.
“My groin is as strong as it’s ever been and the stats are there to prove it,” he said.
“Now it’s just a case of getting match fit and then hopefully my form will come back straight away.
“I’m excited about getting back out there.
“I know I’m going to come back fitter, stronger and hungrier than ever.”
Meanwhile, Dalglish has revealed that he has held “amicable” talks with referees’ chief Mike Riley in the wake of Liverpool’s controversial defeat at Stoke City.
The Reds boss met Riley, the general manager of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, at Melwood on Tuesday to discuss his concerns over the way games have been handled.
Dalglish had voiced his frustration in the post-match press conference at the Britannia Stadium following a string of big decisions going against his side so far this season.
“It was good to see Mike and we had an extremely informative and amicable discussion, which has given us all a better understanding of how things operate,” Dalglish said.
“It’s our job to best represent the club and protect its interests but we have the utmost respect for the job referees do and have never wanted or asked for any form of preferential treatment, simply a level playing field for everyone.
“We will continue to conduct ourselves in a dignified and respectful manner at all times. From our perspective it was certainly worthwhile sitting down together and maybe it’s something that should happen more often.”