Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard faces up to a month on the sidelines after surgery to correct a long term groin injury.

Gerrard underwent the surgery on Friday morning as his team-mates returned from a 1-0 Europa League defeat away to Sporting Braga of Portugal.

A statement from the club read: “LFC can today confirm that Steven Gerrard has undergone successful surgery on his groin and will be out for up to four weeks.

“The decision was made following consultation with a specialist.”

Meanwhile Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish will be patient with new striker Andy Carroll as he eases the record buy into his team.

Carroll made another substitute appearance as Liverpool lost 1-0 away to Portugal’s Sporting Braga in the Europa League on Thursday.

The former Newcastle target-man is easing his way back to regular football after injury and Dalglish will give the England player all the time he wants.

“He is a good option for us. He is still trying to get himself fit but we know what his attributes are - he just needs a few more games to get himself toned up,” said Dalglish.

“But is it was quite evident he made quite a difference when he came on.

“He is good. He got a lot of the ball and made a good contribution to an improved performance. But we have to be patient and be responsible.”

Braga won 1-0 thanks to a 17th minute penalty from Brazilian midfielder Alan’s 17th-minute penalty after Sotirios Krygiakos fouled Mossoro.

“Considering the way we played in the first half we are fortunate to come away with a 1-0 because when you play as badly as that you are grateful you lose 1-0,” added Dalglish.

“To only be 1-0 behind, considering the start we had, might be a bonus. To give the lads credit, they picked things up and raised the tempo and with a bit of luck we could have got an equaliser.

“You don’t know if it is a good or bad result until the second leg is over but there is no-one in there who is pleased with the performance or the result.

 “We have got a week till the next game and we’ll not depress ourselves too much but we will certainly go over it and sort out some of the problems.”

Steven Gerard