Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned Steven Gerrard there is no easy route back into his first-team plans.
The Reds captain has missed the last six matches with a hamstring injury and, although he has returned to training this week, he will be assessed before a decision can be made on whether he is fit to face Blackburn in Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final.
In his absence they have won five times, with their only defeat coming to Besiktas in the Europa League, but although Jordan Henderson has stepped up to successfully lead the side Rodgers insists the 24-year-old is no carbon-copy replacement.
There is no-one in the squad who has a God-given right to walk straight into the team.
It probably would be (an issue) for other people but certainly not for me and it wouldn't be for Steven.
He is very much a team player and if he was on the bench because the team was in good form and playing well I think everyone respects that.
I have shown my time here players who are performing well, irrespective of price or status, they play - simple as that.
For me the most important thing in the first case is having Steven available.
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A former police officer has been jailed for 22 months for her part in a plot to blackmail Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.
Jones has was found guilty of misconduct in a public office after seizing the CCTV to use as a 'tool for blackmail'.
The 33-year-old illegally obtain CCTV footage of a Formby bar brawl involving Gerrard in August 2013.
Jones got hold of the footage from a local bank after businessman Paul Lloyd had claimed Gerrard and some associates punch and kicked him.
The judge added: "You deliberately created a false impression in the mind of the bank manager that you were investigating a criminal offence.
"In fact you were on a mission to obtain that matter so that you could put it either directly or through an intermediary, who would use it for his own ends, which were nothing whatsover to do with a criminal investigation."
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Steven Gerrard and Peter Reid disagreed over the incident which saw Mario Balotelli snatch the ball from stand-in Reds skipper Jordan Henderson to take a late penalty for Liverpool against Besiktas last night.
Working as a pundit for ITV, Liverpool captain Gerrard - who is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury - accused Balotelli of "disrespecting" Henderson by demanding to take the spot kick.
Former Everton midfielder Reid defended Balotelli by claiming it was just "confidence, give us it, little bit of a ruck."
Steven Gerrard accused Mario Balotelli of showing "disrespect" for taking the penalty which earned Liverpool a 1-0 Europa League win over Besiktas ahead of Reds captain Jordan Henderson.
Balotelli tucked away the spot-kick to earn the hosts' a narrow first-leg lead, but only after an apparent disagreement with Henderson, the captain on the night, and Daniel Sturridge over who would take it.
Gerrard, who is injured, was working as a pundit for ITV for the match, and criticised Balotelli for his behaviour.
Steven Gerrard has been ruled out for two to three weeks with a hamstring problem which will keep him sidelined for this weekend's FA Cup trip to Crystal Palace, and the league fixtures against Southampton and Man City.
With Lucas Leiva already out for at least a month with a thigh problem it means Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen are likely to be paired in central midfield.
Forward Raheem Sterling, who missed the midweek league win over Tottenham with a foot injury, has to be assessed while youngster Jordon Ibe is cup-tied.
Liverpool squad: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Markovic, Allen, Henderson, Moreno, Coutinho, Lallana, Sturridge, Jones, Ward, Johnson, Manquillo, Enrique, Borini, Lambert, Balotelli.
Outgoing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will wear the number eight at LA Galaxy when he completes his move to America at the end of this Premier League season.
If you want to buy the shirt is will cost you $174.99 - which is a whopping £114.15.
What an achievement from the former England skipper. Will he guide Liverpool to one last trophy before moving to America?
Rested captain Steven Gerrard watched on from the stands as Raheem Sterling gave Liverpool a second half lead against West Ham.