Liverpool FC boss Brendan Rodgers reveals the lenghts club are going to keep Steven Gerrard fit
Brendan Rodgers has revealed the lengths to which Liverpool FC are working to ensure Steven Gerrard remains performing at the highest level – as the skipper prepares to lead his boyhood club out for the 400th time.
Gerrard has featured 50 times for the Anfield outfit – missing only six games of which only two were due to injury – since Rodgers took over as manager last summer.
The 33-year-old was an ever-present in the Premier League last season until the decision was taken to operate on a niggling shoulder complaint during the final fortnight of the campaign.
Gerrard has played in all four Liverpool matches this season, including the full 120 minutes in the Capital One Cup win over Notts County, and figured in both England’s recent World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.
And Rodgers believes the player, who will captain Liverpool for the 400th time at Swansea City on Monday, is benefiting from a specific programme aimed at keeping him on the pitch and out of the treatment room.
“You need to analyse each player and what age he is at and the body type he is,” said the Northern Irishman.
“One of the biggest things in our method of work is the recovery method. Stevie for example plays on the Saturday, recovers on the Sunday doing pulls, stretch and massage, on the Tuesday recovers further with maybe a light jog.
“It’s a long load of low intensity recovery. Stevie was fit enough to play Saturday, Tuesday and Sunday last month.
“He has moderate to low intensity recovery programmes. We have individual plans for every player in terms of getting them through the games.”
Part of the reason Rodgers brought many of his backroom staff with him from Swansea City was to introduce a “holistic approach” to the fitness of his squad.
And the Liverpool manager admits he has had to hold back some of his players for their own good during training.
“It depends if you are a dogmatic coach and you think you always have to have the player out there,” added Rodgers.
“Given the culture we have created here, the players want to be out training every day.
“Sometimes with the recovery, they’ll feel they want to do a bit more.
“But the numbers have shown since we have come here that the methodology of our work physically, technically and tactically helps them on game day.
“They have bought into that and it’s something they enjoy. As a manager it’s your job to orchestrate and oversee that, that’s why when I came in here I needed to bring my own people in as they know exactly what I think in terms of the whole holistic approach to the players.”
Meanwhile, Glen Johnson has confirmed he should be available sooner than was initially expected as he recovers from an ankle problem suffered against Manchester United almost two weeks ago.
Johnson was originally believed to be sidelined for almost three months, but an updated medical bulletin means the right-back could be back in action in five weeks.
The 29-year-old Tweeted yesterday: “Injury doesn’t seem as bad as first thought, hopefully be back sooner than originally expected!”
Daniel Sturridge is expected to make the trip to Liberty Stadium having missed out for England this week due to a thigh problem.