Liverpool have confirmed captain Jordan Henderson has successfully undergone surgery on the groin injury he sustained in the Merseyside derby last weekend.
The 30-year-old midfielder was substituted after half an hour of the 2-0 defeat at Anfield to become the latest casualty in the Reds' squad.
Boss Jurgen Klopp admitted at the time the injury "doesn't look good" with initial fears Henderson would be ruled out for up to three months.
That would have put his place at this summers European Championships with England in doubt.
But it appears he could now miss up to 6-8 weeks, giving him time to return before the end of the season providing he has no setbacks.
Liverpool's statement on their website read: "Following further assessment with the club’s medical team, Henderson has successfully had a corrective procedure carried out on the adductor injury. He will begin a rehabilitation programme immediately.
"No specific timescale is being placed upon his return; however, the 30-year-old is ruled out initially until after the March international break.
"Henderson’s recovery will be closely monitored by the club’s medical department and his progression during his rehab work will determine when he is able to resume full training."
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It's been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp's men.
They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.
Virgil van Dijk's season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson's injury worries too.
But there's no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.
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The news comes as a bitter blow to Liverpool's already difficult campaign, as Henderson was deputising well in their injury-hit defence.
Despite topping the Premier League table at Christmas, Klopp's side now face a battle to finish in the top four, while the Champions League remains their only faint hope of silverware.
Their top three centre-backs: Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk; are all expected to be out for the rest of the season, while Klopp is sweating over the fitness of Fabinho ahead of Sunday's clash with Sheffield United.
Should the Brazilian not be fit in time for the fixture at Bramall Lane, Liverpool will likely start the match with the centre-back pairing who finished the match against Everton, Nat Phillips and new signing Ozan Kabak.
Liverpool may also lose goalkeeper Alisson, whose father, Jose Becker, died in tragic circumstances in his native Brazil on Wednesday.
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