Gerrard out of Asia tour

The 31-year-old will continue his individual recovery programme at

the Reds’ Melwood training ground while the majority of the squad

fly out to China on Sunday ahead of their first friendly two days

later. “I’d really been looking forward to travelling out to China,

Malaysia and Singapore and meeting first-hand as many of our fans

as possible,” the England international told the club’s website.

“I’m really sorry that I won’t now be able to do that. “But after

sitting down and talking with the medical experts and technical

staff, it’s been decided that the best course of action is for me

to continue my rehabilitation programme at Melwood. “It’s

disappointing I won’t be with them, but I’m sure the lads who go

out there will put a great show on for our fans.” Gerrard underwent

an operation in early March to correct a troublesome groin problem

which had been affecting him for some months. He was ruled out for

the remainder of the season and last month Gerrard hinted he may

not be fully fit for Liverpool’s early friendlies. Gerrard returned

to training with the rest of the squad at Melwood yesterday but was

not involved with the main group of players. “Steven and the

medical team have done fantastically well so far and they are in

the final stages of getting him back to full training,” said

manager Kenny Dalglish. “I’m sure there will be supporters

disappointed that Steven is unable to be with us in Asia, but I’m

sure the same people will appreciate the importance of Steven

giving himself the best possible opportunity of being fit to play

against Sunderland on the opening day of the new campaign. “Steven

continuing his rehabilitation programme at Melwood is in

everybody’s long term interests.”