Brendan Rodgers has revealed Liverpool will be without Raheem Sterling against Reading at the weekend due to injury.
The teenage midfielder has been out of action since the March 31 away win against Aston Villa.
Rodgers has ruled out a return for Sterling on Saturday opposite the Royals, but assured reporters on Wednesday that Stewart Downing has recovered from the illness he suffered in the goalless draw with West Ham and is fit to take part.
"Young Raheem won't be involved," Rodgers told the club's official website. "Stewart Downing had a bout of sickness last weekend just before the game, hence the reason for him having to come off.
"He's fine now. Apart from that, we're fit and strong - the players are looking very good."
The 40-year-old manager elaborated on the situation regarding Sterling, saying the winger's recent absence is precautionary.
"The medics wanted to take him out for a few weeks just to see where he was at with injuries. It has been an ongoing one," he continued. "He's a very young player so we don't want to risk any long-term injury when there's no need. Of course you would rather have him in the squad to develop him, but this is a part of making sure we have a duty of care for him as a young player.
"When he shows signs of fatigue and a little bit of injury, we have to look at that and treat it in the best way we think possible. At the moment, that's to take him out."
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