We go back to the drawing board again, where we clear up exactly why Steven Gerrard is in Liverpool. The Mirror had stated that it was to receive treatment, and while Gerrard did receive treatment, that doesn’t seem to be his primary reason for traveling to Liverpool.
Associate Head Coach Dave Sarachan, when speaking to the Corner of the Galaxy Podcast (that’s us), cautioned to not always “believe everything you read.” Sarachan mentioned that Gerrard’s family is once again living in Liverpool and that the visit was primarily to be with family. Therefore clearing up the “Why go 5,000 miles to Liverpool to get treatment” question. Especially ahead of the team’s final two games of the season.
Bruce Arena, speaking to Spectrum SportsNet also added a very significant detail. That Gerrard had re-injured his hamstring – the same injury that had sidelined him for a large portion of the season. Arena, according to LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano, told Spectrum SportsNet:
“He could do at home what he could do here as well. It was OK for him to depart for a week or two.” READ ADAM’S STORY HERE
To add, Sarachan also pointed out that Belgium Defender Jelle Van Damme was away at some point during the break to visit his family overseas. And that it was important for these guys to be happy mentally and physically when they return to the team.
Some reports having him return on Friday, October 14th, prior to the Houston game. But again, he’s very unlikely to play.
But for Gerrard, if his hamstring has been reaggravated, this could spell the end for him with the Galaxy. With just two games left before the playoffs, and the Galaxy not looking particularly sharp, his season could be over and his contract run out.
Also chiming in on reports of Gerrard is ESPN’s Jeffrey Carlisle. Carlisle has said that he’s been told that Gerrard will be back by Friday but it won’t matter because he’s likely out for Sunday’s match with Houston. But the Mirror, in their original report stated that Gerrard would stay through Monday nights’ Manchester United & Liverpool clash. So it seems that only time will tell on that one.
Kevin Baxter of the LA Times is reporting that Gerrard is out and that Keane is doubtful after not training with the team again – although he stayed in the training room at StubHub Center. But that Giovani dos Santos is back from International duty with Mexico and his status for Sunday’s game against Houston has yet to be determined.
Gerrard out, Keane doubtful and Gio TBD for #LAGalaxy Sunday. W/loss and wins by RSL, Seattle Galaxy could fall to 5th w/one game left
So for now, the LA Galaxy are left without a confirmed Designated Player for their away travels to face off against the Dynamo and Steven Gerrard is in Liverpool. It could get real ugly for the LA Galaxy if they were to lose this game. Baxter reporting that the Galaxy could drop as low as fifth place.
And while the Mirror couches everything around the big English Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool, it’s unclear of whether that was a motivation to seek treatment in the UK.
Gerrard has played in only 21 of the clubs 32 games this season. He’s scored three goals in 2016 but has 11 assists. He’s been injured for a fair amount of games and has played in just five of the team’s last ten games.
His defection to Liverpool for treatment comes on the heels of his absence in training on Tuesday. According to a tweet from LA Galaxy Insider, Adam Serrano, Bruce Arena said that both Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard were “fine” despite neither being on the field Tuesday. And it’s still entirely possible that both players were on the grounds at StubHub Center on Tuesday, but not on the training field. But the timing of their absence can’t be a good sign for a team that is struggling to finish out the season and prepare for the playoffs.
There are also concerns that the locker room has been less than harmonious. So it seems odd that two veterans of the team and two players who are playing on expiring contracts would be absent. And even more strange that Gerrard would feel it necessary to travel over 5,000 miles to receive treatment for something that could certainly be treated in Los Angeles.
It would seem to be a good guess that, as the Mirror was reporting, that Gerrard will miss this Sunday’s game against Houston. And for the LA Galaxy, that won’t be a serious blow. LA has struggled for most of the year to integrate Robbie Keane, Giovani dos Santos, and Steven Gerrard into a coherent formation. And some have argued that with Gerrard’s inclusion in the starting lineup, too many players are pushed out of their preferred positions in order to accommodate him.
When reached for comment the LA Galaxy confirmed that Gerrard was in England and that his status would be addressed at training later on Thursday. We’ll update our story once more information has been released.