Brendan Rodgers has confirmed Jose Enrique “will be missing” in action for Liverpool until the end of the season, adding that the club’s priority now is to get the 28-year-old Spanish left-back fit for next season.

Enrique has been struggling with knee injury all season and has not played since November, and manager Rodgers reveals he can’t play again for the Reds this season after taking longer than expected to recover from an operation.

In his absence, Jon Flanagan has deputised, impressing in the back four as the Reds maintained their title challenge, as they are currently top of the league, two points above Chelsea in second and four ahead of third-placed Manchester City, who have two games in hand.

It was initially believed he could be back in action by February after undergoing surgery but his healing process has been quite slow, which has prompted Rodgers to concede that the defender is unlikely to feature in the first team until August.

“The likelihood is he will miss from now until the end of the season,” said the Liverpool boss.

“The priority now is getting him fully fit and getting him ready for next season.”

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