Liverpool boosted by Skrtel news
Liverpool have been boosted by the news that defender Martin Skrtel does not need surgery on his knee injury and so could return to action by Christmas.
The 23-year-old defender needed oxygen as he left the field on a stretcher after falling awkwardly in the Reds' 3-2 win over Manchester City on Sunday.
It was feared he could face a lengthy spell out with posterior cruciate ligament damage to his right knee.
But a club spokesman said: "He is expected to be back before Christmas."
He added: "Martin was examined by a specialist on Tuesday, who confirmed the player does not require surgery."
Skrtel, who was signed from Zenit St Petersburg in January, has forged a solid partnership with Jamie Carragher at the heart of Liverpool's defence.
The Slovakian has kept Daniel Agger out of the side but his injury may open the door for the Dane to return, with manager Rafael Benitez admitting: "Everyone can see that the understanding between Martin and Carra is becoming really good and to lose a player who is doing well is always a problem.
"Martin has learned a lot. He already had good qualities when we brought him here and we had confidence in him. But you can always improve, especially playing alongside experienced players and working under the staff here, and he's done that.
"It's bad news, but we have other options. He has given me a selection headache this season but that is a good problem for me as a manager."
Liverpool have conceded only four goals in seven Premier League matches this season and they sit second in the table behind Chelsea on goal difference.
Benitez's side have also made a fine start to their Champions League campaign, with victories from each of their opening two Group D matches.