Gerrard still key to Reds - Rodgers
Published 02/07/2013 | 19:03
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists captain Steven Gerrard forms an integral part of his plans for the next few years.
The England midfielder missed the final two matches of last season to have surgery on a persistent shoulder problem but the Reds boss does not envisage any issues with him for the start of the new campaign.
"He's 33 now but Steven is still an integral part of what I'm trying to do here and will be for the next few years," he said.
"He had his operation towards the end of the season and the plan was for him to continue his rehab over the off-season. It's a big credit to him - he's worked tirelessly over the summer. He won't be too far away. He looks great and is in great condition."
Rodgers is also pleased to have been able to bring in experienced defender Kolo Toure this summer.
With Jamie Carragher, who was a virtual ever-present in the second half of the season, having retired the Reds boss wanted to find someone who can provide leadership at the back.
"Losing someone like Jamie Carragher was going to leave a massive hole for us in terms of his experience," he told liverpoolfc.com.
"Kolo's experience is going to be really important for us - but not just that. He's someone with a winning mentality.
"There weren't too many available who were better than Kolo Toure. He's played with big clubs, he understands what a winning mentality is about.
"He's a good man as well - he knows what the culture is like at a big club."