Gerrard to miss Liverpool tour of Asia

LONDON - Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard will miss the club's pre-season tour of Asia which starts on Sunday so he can regain full fitness for the start of the Premier League season, Liverpool said on Tuesday.

Gerrard, who missed the end of last season because of a groin injury which needed surgery, will continue his rehabilitation programme at their Melwood training ground.

LiverpooL play in China against Guangdong on July 13 and a Malaysian XI on July 16. They will also spend time training in Singapore during their eight-day stay in the Far East.

"Steven and the medical team have done fantastically well so far and they are in the final stages of getting him back to full training," manager Kenny Dalglish told the club's website.

"I'm sure there will be supporters disappointed that Steven is unable to be with us in Asia, but I'm sure the same people will appreciate the importance of Steven giving himself the best possible opportunity of being fit to play against Sunderland on the opening day of the new campaign.

"Steven continuing his rehabilitation programme at Melwood is in everybody's long-term interests."

Liverpool open their season at home to Sunderland on August 13.