Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Reds' skipper Jordan Henderson played against Bournemouth on Monday night (17 August) despite carrying a foot injury, a game which the Reds won through Christian Benteke's first goal for the Anfield club.
The English midfielder has been handed the captain's armband following the departure of Steven Gerrard, and is a mainstay in the Merseyside club's midfield alongside James Milner. He featured for 51 minutes and set up the winner for the Belgian before being replaced.
"He had a problem with the bottom of his foot. He hadn't trained for part of the week. He was taking some painkillers with it, and did ever so well to even be out on the field," Rodgers said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"He wanted to give it a go, but you could see he was limited in his running. He did great for us when he was on the pitch, but it's important we have fit players on the field, and unfortunately he was just in too much pain," the Reds manager added.
Henderson was replaced by Germany U21 international Emre Can, who has been tipped to occupy the defensive midfielder's role in the team, but the presence of Milner has seen him being dropped down to the bench.
But the Northern Irishman believes that his players are still seeking full fitness. Rodgers had words of praise for the German as well as Alberto Moreno, who came on as a second half substitute to provide support to Joe Gomez on the left side of Liverpool's defence.
"Can gives good control to the game, there's a number of players looking for fitness, but as they're building towards that, it's important they can make a contribution."
"Alberto Moreno came on to help young Joe Gomez, who I thought was excellent. Matt Ritchie is an excellent player, we just wanted to put on a player on that side to support and help him," Rodgers explained.
"Alberto Moreno was excellent when he came on, as well as Emre."