• Premier League

Enrique out of action until February

ESPN staff
November 25, 2013
Jose Enrique has been troubled by the knee problem all season © Getty Images

Liverpool defender Jose Enrique will out of action until February as he recovers from surgery on a knee injury.

Manager Brendan Rodgers said last week that the Spanish left-back, 27, would need an operation to sort out the problem, which has been troubling him all season.

Enrique has played only 29 minutes for Liverpool since October 5, and missed Saturday's 3-3 Premier League draw with neighbours Everton at Goodison Park.

In the former Newcastle defender's absence on Saturday, Jon Flanagan made only his second Premier League appearance in 19 months, having been selected ahead of Aly Cissokho.

A statement on Liverpool's website read: "Liverpool Football Club can confirm that Jose Enrique has successfully undergone arthroscopic surgery to resolve an issue with his right knee.

"Enrique is expected to return to full training at Melwood in around 10 weeks' time."

Liverpool-born Flanagan, 20, deputised at right-back in the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on November 2 after Glen Johnson had to pull out shortly before kick-off with a facial infection.

His performance in Saturday's Merseyside derby won praise from Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. The midfielder, 33, told the Liverpool Echo: "You look at our team and our star man for me was Jon Flanagan by a country mile.

"He doesn't get many headlines but as captain of the team he was the player I am most proud of. "I thought he was unbelievable. He's been fighting hard in training just to get in the 18, never mind the starting 11, but the manager threw him in at the deep end against a top class player like Kevin Mirallas and I thought he was sensational.

"It was one of the best derby performances I have seen for many years."

Gerrard compared Flanagan to former club vice-captain Jamie Carragher, who played in the full-back positions regularly early on in his career before establishing himself in central defence under Rafa Benitez's management.

"He reminds me of Carragher in a lot of ways," the England captain said of Flanagan. "I don't think you would judge Jon in terms of ability or skill, but he is all about heart, desire, determination and fighting for the cause.

"He's a Liverpool fan like myself so I know what it meant to him to come into a derby and finish as our man of the match by a mile."

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