- Premier League
Liverpool sanction Gerrard shoulder surgery
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is expected to undergo a shoulder operation this summer that will see him sidelined for England's high-profile international friendlies against Ireland and Brazil.
Gerrard will continue to play for Liverpool in their final four games of the season but has been pencilled in for keyhole surgery in May in a bid to cure a long-standing problem.
The rehabilitation period is estimated at eight weeks, meaning Gerrard will be unavailable for the match against Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland on May 29, or the trip to Rio de Janeiro on June 2.
However the 32-year-old midfielder, who has remarkably played in every minute of Liverpool's Premier League campaign, is expected to be fit for the start of pre-season training.
England's World Cup qualifying campaign resumes in September, with the Three Lions taking on Moldova and Ukraine, before crunch fixtures against Montenegro and Poland in October will determine if they reach the 2014 finals in Brazil.