Rafa's op fear over Torres and Gerrard

LIVERPOOL manager Rafael Benitez has admitted that key duo Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres may both need surgery to overcome lingering injuries.<br /><br />Long lay-offs for captain Gerrard and top scorer Torres would be a severe blow to the Reds&rsquo; hopes of silverware, which already look gossamer-thin. A stoppage-time equaliser meant Liverpool had to settle for a draw in Lyon on Wednesday night, leaving them highly likely to be eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage.<br /><br />A dire run of just one win in eight games has also seen their Premier League challenge falter badly, and they now trail leaders Chelsea by nine points. Torres, who has contributed 10 of their 25 league goals, visited a specialist yesterday with both him and the club viewing surgery on his hernia as a last resort.<br /><br />&ldquo;Fernando wants to wait, rather than have an operation,&rdquo; said Benitez. &ldquo;He wants to work with the physios to try to solve his problems, but still he has pain. He told me he needed to keep stopping during the Lyon game because of the pain.&rdquo; <br /><br />Gerrard has played just 25 minutes of Liverpool&rsquo;s last six games owing to a groin injury, and Benitez is also desperate to void the talismanic midfielder going under the knife.<br /><br />&ldquo;Whether there is the need for him Torres or Steven to have an operation is a decision we will probably not take straight away,&rdquo; added Benitez, whose side face Birmingham on Monday. &ldquo;We must see how they can improve, and by how much. Then we will decide about any possible operation.&rdquo;<br /><br />Goalkeeper Pepe Reina, meanwhile, refuses to accept their European challenge is dead, having been part of some dramatic escapes in recent years. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not the end,&rdquo; he said. We have got two games to go and disgracefully we are not depending on ourselves. Miracles? They happen, particularly at Liverpool.&rdquo;