London, Oct 17 (ANI): Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez could barely conceal his anger after his two prized players, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, picked up the injuries on international duty.
The Kop boss will go into a week, which could make or break the Reds' entire campaign without Gerrard and Torres, who both have groin problems.
Both players stayed on with their respective countries, wrecking any hopes Liverpool had of treating them at Melwood and getting them fit for today's trip to Sunderland.
Torres, 25, remained on the bench for Spain's midweek win in Bosnia-Herzegovina after playing 55 minutes of the victory in Armenia four days earlier, The Sun reports.
It was the same story for Gerrard, 29, who limped out of England's loss in Ukraine and missed the Belarus win. That leaves Dirk Kuyt to lead the line today - but only after he got the all clear following an ankle injury on duty for Holland.
"When players go away if they have a small problem it can depend on the training sessions. In this case both were playing with us and after they went to the national teams, they got injured," Benitez admitted.
"I have my opinions on that but prefer to talk of Sunderland because it's all I can do now. You can't guarantee that with treatment for a full week they'd have been OK. They aren't serious injuries but this is too early for them. We decided this morning that neither could play but both should be OK for Tuesday."
Gerrard's injury worsened when he trained with England on Monday, only to limp off after barely 10 minutes. (ANI)