Liverpool players warm up during a training session in Singapore. REUTERS

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will miss the start of the season as he struggles to overcome a recurrent groin problem.

A club statement read: "Steven Gerrard today began a course of antibiotic treatment for an infection related to an on-going groin problem.

"He is expected to remain in hospital for several days while the precautionary procedure is completed. The player will then return to Melwood to continue his rehabilitation programme and is expected to be available for selection in September."

Gerrard will miss Liverpool's Premier League fixtures against Sunderland, Arsenal and Bolton, as well as England's international friendly against Holland.

But new Liverpool signing Charlie Adam remains confident the club have sufficient strength in depth to cope with the loss of their inspirational captain.

Manager Kenny Dalglish has bolstered the club's midfield options during the summer transfer window, with new arrivals Jordan Henderson, Adam and Stewart Downing joining Raul Meireles, Jonjo Shelvy, Lucas Leiva, Alberto Aquilani, Joe Cole, Christian Poulsen and Jay Spearing at Anfield.

"Liverpool have many other talented midfielders. I think the competition for places will be good for the club," said Adam.

"I thrive on that type of challenge and I'm sure the other lads will as well.

"I want to learn and there are some of the best players in the world at this club, so if I can learn from them I am going to improve as a player.

"I see this as the perfect development for me to come here, play with such wonderful players and hopefully help the team to win trophies."

Dalglish is keen to offload a number of fringe players ahead of the club's first game against Sunderland on 13 August.

West Ham are hopeful of ending Joe Cole's inglorious Liverpool career, with the Championship side interested in bringing the 29-year-old midfielder to Upton Park on loan.

Meanwhile, Alberto Aquilani has not given up on a move to Fiorentina after his agent, Franco Zavaglia, confirmed the Italian is eager to return to Italy.

The 24-year-old has endured a torrid time on Merseyside after his £20m transfer in 2009 and spent most of last season on loan with Juventus.

"It [Aquilani's move to Fiorentina] remains possible," said Zavaglia. "The deal is not at risk.

"I don't know what to say in England, but he wants a transfer on a permanent basis."

Finally, Liverpool are considering a bid for Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross, according to reports today.

Shawcross, 23, captained the Potters to the FA Cup final last season, earning them a place in the Europa League but Tony Pulis remains adamant the defender is going nowhere.

"I'm giving him the captaincy back and I'm hoping he picks up the baton again and continues getting better every year," Pulis told the Sentinel.

"It's a great honour for him and one he took on board when he was made captain last year."