Mellor adds to Reds woes
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Liverpool's injury woes have taken a turn for the worse with Neil Mellor being ruled out for the remainder of the season, while Jerzy Dudek and Harry Kewell are among those struggling to be fit for Saturday's trip to Newcastle.
Rafa Benitez has already been hard hit by injuries in his first season in charge at Anfield, having watched big-money striker Djibril Cisse break his leg back in October.
Florent Sinama-Pongolle's season ended with an injury at Watford, and now a third striker has been ruled out for the season.
Mellor has been struggling with tendonitis and has had to undergo surgery on both knees to rectify the problem.
The Reds face a crucial trip to improving Newcastle on Saturday, but Benitez may have to make changes as a number of his starters struggle with knocks picked up in the Carling Cup final.
Dudek had to have ten stitches in a gashed shin he sustained in Cardiff, which could mean a debut for Scott Carson at St James' Park, with Chris Kirkland also out injured.
Djimi Traore and Harry Kewell were forced off in Cardiff with thigh and ankle problems respectively, and they are struggling to face Newcastle.
The injuries keep on coming for Benitez as Dietmar Hamann has a bruised shin that has kept him out of training, but he is expected to recover in time.
Spanish defender Josemi is due to miss another two weeks after suffering torn lining in his knee in his comeback game in the reserves on Tuesday.
Benitez's patched-up squad desperately needs to bounce back from their cup defeat to get back in the race for fourth place.
The Spanish coach has had poor luck with injuries all season with £10 million midfielder Xabi Alonso also still out.
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