Liverpool news

Rodgers gives Allen Wales blessing

March 14, 2013
By Mike Whalley

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will allow Joe Allen to join up with the Wales squad next week even though the midfielder is due to have surgery on a long-term shoulder problem.

Joe Allen
EmpicsJoe Allen is set for another stint on the sidelines

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Allen, who celebrates his 23rd birthday on Thursday, has been named in Chris Coleman's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Scotland and Croatia.

The former Swansea man needs an operation on a shoulder injury, and is likely to be sidelined for three months afterwards to give him time to recover fully.

Allen said on Tuesday that the problem had been troubling him for several years, but had started to get worse since last October. He is prepared to play on with the injury as Liverpool chase European qualification in the closing weeks of the season, but has made clear it needs sorting out.

And Rodgers, who revealed his player had the problem after last Sunday's 3-2 Premier League win over Tottenham, will not rush Allen into an operation, confirming he will allow the midfielder to report for international duty.

"He will do, yeah," Rodgers said. "It's something he's been playing through. When I mentioned it last week, I was expressing an awareness that he's got an operation he will probably need. But Joe's been fine through that for a few years, to be honest. He's had a problem for a while and it hasn't been so bad.

"Certainly since October, though, he's felt it. And at the right time in the next couple of months, we'll look to get organised. But at this moment, he's involved in the group, he'll be involved with the Wales squad and then we'll assess and analyse it after that."

Allen is expected to be involved in the Liverpool squad for Saturday's Premier League trip to Southampton. But goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who missed the win over Tottenham with a calf problem, remains a doubt.

"Pepe hasn't trained so much this week, but he's coming along better," Rodgers said. "He's had a real good response today to some of the work he's been doing. We'll find out by tomorrow whether he's going to be fit."