UEFA Europa League semi-finalists Liverpool FC will negotiate the rest of their campaign without Fernando Torres after confirming that the striker is having a second knee operation in the space of four months.
Torres will face a similar six-week period of rehabilitation to that which followed his initial surgery for meniscus damage in the right knee in January. The second procedure will be carried out today, after Torres had fluid drained from the same knee last week. The Spanish international therefore misses a UEFA Europa League semi-final reunion with former side Club Atlético de Madrid.
"Fernando saw a specialist in Spain today and it was decided he would need surgery on a torn cartilage in his right knee," a Liverpool statement read. "This will be carried out tonight. We cannot comment ahead of the operation, but as a guide, the usual rehabilitation period for this type of procedure is around six weeks."
Torres is thought to have aggravated the injury during Liverpool's quarter-final second leg win against SL Benfica on 8 April, when he scored two of his four UEFA Europa League goals this season. Despite his knee problems, the 26-year-old has registered 18 Premier League goals in 22 appearances for a Reds side lying seventh in the table with four games to play.
Liverpool are due to play their semi-final first leg away to Atlético on Thursday, with the return match scheduled for 29 April at Anfield. Torres may even face a race to be fit for Spain's FIFA World Cup bid in South Africa – the European champions begin their campaign against Switzerland on 16 June.
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