- Premier League
Rodgers backs Borini to come good
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said he believes striker Fabio Borini has the mental strength to recover from his second major injury blow of the season.
Borini, 21, faces around eight weeks out after dislocating his shoulder in the closing stages of Sunday's 5-0 Premier League win over Swansea at Anfield.
The Italian, who will have an operation in the next few days, was ruled out for three months in October after aggravating a foot injury suffered during a league game against Manchester United on September 23.
It is a major blow for Borini, who has yet to score a league goal for Liverpool since his £11 million summer arrival from Roma.
Rodgers said: "The plan will be that Fabio will look to have an operation by the weekend, and you're probably looking at six to eight weeks out for that.
"It's been a difficult season for Fabio, coming to such a big club and getting an injury early on that put him out for three months.
"He came back, worked hard and waited for his moment, and then he did his shoulder.
"It's been difficult for him - but he's a tough-minded young boy, so we hope he'll get through the operation well, and then we'll see how he recovers."
Rodgers coached Borini when he was in charge of the reserves at Chelsea and also took him to Swansea on loan two years ago.
He said he believed the player had the character to bounce back, adding: "In the last three years, he's had a spell where he's picked up an injury in each October that has kept him out for three months.
"But he's come back from those, got into the teams and played. I think one of his qualities is his mental strength. He will recover well, and we hope we'll see the best of him in the future."
In addition to Borini, Rodgers will also be without centre-back Martin Skrtel for Thursday's Europa League last-32 second leg clash against Zenit St Petersburg at Anfield as the Reds look to overturn a 2-0 deficit.
The 28-year-old Slovakia international, an unused substitute against Swansea, has been carrying a knee injury, and Rodgers said: "He's being assessed.
"I think he will struggle with his knee. He had a little knock on it a few days ago. He tried to train and made it worse, so it's highly unlikely he will be involved."
The Liverpool manager also indicated that he would find a place in the squad for winger Oussama Assaidi, who has not played since November 28.
Assaidi, a summer signing from Dutch side Heerenveen, has struggled to establish himself at Anfield.